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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Former Czech prostitute, German neo-Nazi imprisoned for torturing Roma women

A court in the town of Hof, Germany has sentenced a Czech woman and a German neo-Nazi from the Bavarian town of Selb to seven and a half and six years in prison respectively for kidnapping, beating and humiliating Roma women from the Czech towns of Aš and Cheb who were working as prostitutes. DPA reported that the court reached its verdict today.

The 26-year-old Czech woman was found guilty of multiple abductions, extortion, aggravated robbery and causing dangerous injuries. The court sent her to prison for seven and a half years; the sentence could have been as long as nine and a half years for the crimes in question. Her German lover, who was four years older than her and had suffered serious brain damage during an accident, received one year less in prison than she did. The court based its decision on a medical finding that the man was suffering from a personality disorder.

According to the court, the man posed as someone interested in the sexual services of female prostitutes in the town of Aš, Czech Republic and the surrounding areas. Over the course of this past March, he enticed three different prostitutes into remote parts of the forest, where he and his partner overwhelmed them, blindfolded them and transported them across the border to Bavaria. Once in the man's home, the women had to strip naked; the couple cut off their hair and took away all of their belongings and clothes. The Czech woman beat the kidnapped prostitutes with a baseball bat or iron bar and forced them to say they were "black swine". After the torture was over, the couple let their victims go.

The couple, who were living in the town of Selb in Bavaria near the Czech border, targeted Roma women only for attack. The 30-year-old man, according to the state prosecutor, is a right-wing radical who despises Roma, while the Czech woman previously worked as a prostitute herself. The prosecutor said her attacks were prompted by her hatred of prostitution.

Police were led to the trail of the Czech-German pair by their most recent victim, who memorized their license plate number. During a search of the defendants' home, detectives found ammunition and weapons and also charged them with illegal possession. During the trial the couple blamed one another for their actions. The man rejected the charge that he was a right-wing radical, claiming to just be a nationalist. "The swastika is no different than a cross in a church to me," local media quoted him as saying.