The Fenix case uproar, consists of a lot of accusations of many crimes, ranging from the one of so-called “promotion of terrorism” to the one of preparation of terrorist attacks. These are the ones that were most discussed at the latest Municipal Court Hearing in Prague. During their verdict, the judge acquitted all the five defendants of the Fenix 1 case. Is it a victory? Why this decision isn’t final? Followed article is a translation of a month old overview over the court hearings and some analyses of our situation and experience, originally written in Czech language.
This long court hearing was about five anarchists, three of them accused of plotting a terrorist attack on a train carrying military paraphernalia. Two of them were accused of knowing about such plans and not having stopped the presumed authors. Two of these five people were also accused of preparing an attack with Molotov cocktails on police cars during the eviction of the Cibulka squat. Basically, according to the deployed police agents, there are in total five people and three different crimes involved. (And all this is just for Fenix 1, because some of these people are facing further accusations in the context of Fenix 2).
In the group where the five accused were involved, there were two police agent infiltrators. These two individuals actively prepared both attacks and they also
partly started them up. However, the judge did not identify their actions as a provocation just because the materials that would detect the provocation are not available.
The Judge, Her Hon. Hana Hrncirova, stressed that she acquitted all the defendants precisely because of lack of sufficient evidence. She highlighted the lack of transparency of police’s work: “The reason why the court took such decision is the fact that during the evidence assessment the judge expressed strong doubts over the police transparency in their methods both before the commencement of the criminal prosecution and when it was legally permitted to involve the deployed agents in the case,” she said.
The judge stressed that the police acted without having a warrant for months and when the defense attorney asked for the records of their activity, the police did not have them: ” The court has no trace of such records, not even one” the judge said. Then she said: “The Defense attorney has tried to get these materials because it can be assumed that, on the grounds of these individual permits, there must be some records somewhere. Such records were never included in the file.”
According to what the police said, the materials from the first months of infiltration “are not existing or cannot be used”. Then, we have another stack of files that are existing, files with a transcript of taped down cell phone communication, and can indeed be used. Especially to prove that the secret agents, the infiltration and the construction of the case are not a matter of the past as we hear very often. Comic was the moment, when the judge raised this stack over her head (it is a volume of about 400 A4 pages) and said that from all these transcripts not a single thing has any value as evidence.
The decision is not final because the state prosecutor Pazourek felt that he still has not destroyed people’s life enough and appealed on site. As a former police officer, he believes that the police has acted correctly and hopes that the higher Court of Appeal will confirm his opinion. Surely, he will do his utmost best to find something that “must be there and can be used”. We can then just hope that this hunter of anarchists (who is also the one who proposed at least 12 years in jail for charged ones in Fenix) and also plays role in Fenix 2 will have elements with no value of evidence in the next trial as well.
Unlike Pazourek, The Minister of inferior, gun lover, social democrat, Josef Chovanec, does not have time to wait for the Higher court. The Parliamentary Elections are approaching and he has to give priority to polishing his image, presenting himself as a fair and just daddy. And therefore, after three years, he has suddenly noticed that in the Fenix case something “is not quite right”. In his “Twitter” profile he dropped a few comments by making reference to facts belonging to Czech history: “If it proves, that it was just police provocation, I will ask for a thorough investigation case and a punishment of the culprits. The police of such a democratic state […] cannot arbitrarily destroy the lives of people, and this is regardless of their political thinking.. I hope that the “Omladina trial ” belongs to our history and not to our present.” Too bad that he was not there saying such words when, at the time of Martin Ignacak’s imprisonment, main detective Palfiova, looking at the file, stated: “we can do everything!”.
Whether Chovanec himself is directly and or partly responsible for the process against the anarchist movement or not, we do not know and it will take long time before we find out. Surely, if the court would sent the five people behind bars we can bet that he will tap his guys’ shoulders “for the good job they have done”. Now, when the contrary happened, he can blame for their mistakes and abuse of power just a couple of individuals out of a police and punitive apparatus that is otherwise “spotless” and “helpful to all the community”.
The lack of evidence wins
For many of us the Court’s verdict is a relief. For a moment we can breathe, meet up for dinner, and see our friends in a more relaxed state of mind outside the prison walls. These moments are important in life and it is good that we can enjoy them. Prison is a useless institution, it divides relationships, isolates people and destroys lives. This is why the verdict, no matter how much more pleasant than “guilty”, is not a total win for us. We do not forget what three years of infiltration and later investigation meant. Ales, Martin, and Peter have all been incarcerated for 27 months in total, Lukas – 7 months, and before that he had been one year underground. All of them with still awaiting trials (appeal of Fenix 1 and for some of them and two more comrades Fenix 2) Some of them with possible life sentences still in the air. Let’s not forget about Igor, who is today found innocent, was in the hardest custody for three months, is still facing hard restrictions and had been reporting to the probation services for almost year and a half. On top of that, he is still at risk of deportation from the Czech Republic due by his stay in custody.