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Football fan in dock on racism charges

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 13.09.2011 15:20
A 22-year-old man appeared in court on Tuesday in the central Polish city of Kielce, accused of propagating racist views in the local football club's fanzine.

Man hears charges against him in court, Tuesday; photo - PAP/Piotr Polak

The defendant, a student at the Catholic University of Lublin and a supporter of the Korona Kielce premier league side, refused to answer questions put to him in the dock, this morning.

Karol L. (name withheld under Polish law), had written articles for the Korona Kielce fanzine, Zlocisto Krwisci.

In one article, he referred to immigrants as “intruders” whose fathers lived in “mud huts made from camel dung.”

He also warned of the dangers of “black racism” against whites, arguing that whites in Western Europe were under threat from black immigrants.

During the investigation it also emerged that Karol. L had referred to Prime Minister Donald Tusk as “a bore and a jerk”, comparing him to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda.

Although the defendant refused to answer the questions put to him by the prosecution, he submitted a letter via his lawyer, in which he confessed and “regretted” his actions.

He further explained that his criticism of the prime minister was owing to Tusk's blanket denunciation of Polish fans in Lithuania, where 60 fans were arrested during an away match this March.

A verdict will be announced on Tuesday 20 September. Karol L.'s lawyer has called for the case to be discontinued.

Concern over racist abuse and hooliganism is running high in Poland owing to the country's impending co-hosting of the Euro 2012 tournament with Ukraine.

A Uefa-sponsored report released this spring by the East European Monitoring Centre revealed scores of hate crimes at Polish football matches. (nh/pg)

tags: football, racism
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