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Bialystok. The court sentenced Jacek W. for inciting hatred at the ONR march in 2016

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Six months imprisonment suspended for two years. This was the verdict of Jacek W., who in 2016 took part in the ONR march in Białystok and was accused of chanting the slogan “And instead of leaves, Zionists will hang on the trees.” The evidence was the TVN24 recording on which the man was visible. In the trial, he admitted that he may have uttered the said slogan. He is the third participant in the march to be convicted. This one is not valid yet.

– The crown evidence in the case is the recording of the course of the march on which the accused is visible, who, moreover, during the trial, after playing this fragment of the recording to him, confirmed that he may have actually uttered the slogan that is the subject of the allegations – said the judge of the court during the announcement of the verdict District in Bialystok Anna Hordyńska.

On Monday (May 15), the court sentenced Jacek W., who took part in the ONR march in Białystok in 2016, to six months in prison, conditionally suspending the sentence for a probationary period of two years. The man is to inform the probation officer about the course of the probation period and pay the court costs. As Anna Hodryńska explained, when deciding to suspend the sentence, the court took into account that the man had not been punished so far.

Judge Anna Hordyńska stated that the key evidence was the recording TVN24

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Convicted of inciting hatred and making threats

Jacek W. was convicted of articles referring to incitement to hatred “on the basis of national, ethnic, racial, religious differences or due to non-denominationalism” and directing threats against “a group of people or a particular person because of their national, ethnic, racial, political, religious or because of its non-denominational nature.

He was accused of chanting the slogan “And Zionists will hang on trees instead of leaves” during the ONR march, which took place on April 16, 2016 in Białystok to celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the organization. About 400 people walked the streets of the city at that time. As you can see in the recordings recorded by TVN24, many people chanted the password.

Two other people were finally convicted last year

In November last year, the Court of Appeal in Bialystok issued a final judgment against two men. Jarosław R., who was supposed to initiate the chanting of the aforementioned slogan, was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years (this is a milder sentence than in the first instance, where the execution of the sentence was not suspended – editor’s note. red.), and Krzysztof S., who was supposed to have repeated the password after Jarosław R., was given half a year in prison, suspended for two years.

About 400 people took part in the marchTVN24

Prosecutor’s investigations started immediately after the march, first in Białystok and then in Warsaw. They concerned suspicions of incitement to hatred based on national, ethnic, racial or religious differences. However, they were legally discontinued. Nevertheless, it opened the way to a subsidiary indictment from the parties considered to be wronged.

The subsidiary indictment concerned seven people

This right was used by Rafał Gaweł (founder of the Monitoring Center for Racist and Xenophobic Behavior), who accused seven specific national activists of making punishable threats to representatives of the Jewish community, including himself, by shouting: “And instead of leaves, Zionists will hang on trees “. What, according to him, were they supposed to publicly incite to hatred on the basis of national differences.

The TVN24 camera captured the moment of chanting the slogan “And instead of leaves, the Zionists will hang on the trees” (archive footage) TVN24, Fakty TVN

– The fact that only two of the seven people mentioned were convicted was due to the fact that the court did not find evidence on the basis of which they could be convicted. However, when it comes to Jacek W., who has just been sentenced, he testified as a witness in the trial of these two people – says Konrad Dulkowski, head of the Center for Monitoring Racist and Xenophobic Behavior in an interview with tvn24.pl.

Konrad Dulkowski: Jacek W. acted as a witness in the previous trial

He adds that Rafał Gaweł originally did not file a subsidiary indictment against Jacek W., because he believed that he would testify against other participants of the march.

The march took place as part of the celebration of the 82nd anniversary of ONRTVN24

– However, this did not happen, because during the trial Jacek W. covered himself with oblivion. If so, OZRiK sent a notification to the Białystok-Południe District Prosecutor’s Office, which charged him and referred the indictment to the District Court in Białystok – Dulkowski tells us.

Sentence six days after the first hearing

He mentions that although the court wanted to refer the case to Łódź, where the accused lives, the Court of Appeal did not agree.

Read also: A march of national circles passed through Hajnówka. Two people suspected of propagating fascism

“Then things went very quickly. The first hearings took place on May 9, and the verdict was issued on May 15. Of which we were not informed, because we were not recognized as a party – emphasizes our interlocutor.

They are happy with the verdict

An entry appeared on the center’s Facebook profile, in which we read that OZRiK is satisfied with the verdict.

“It is appropriate to the gravity of the prohibited act and, most importantly, it is a signal to the entire extreme right that the time to turn a blind eye to the promotion of fascism and public statements calling for murder on the basis of national differences is over,” the post reads.

The judgment is not final.

Main photo source: TVN24

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