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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Serbian Anti-gay parade rioters get jail time

(Beta, file)BELGRADE -- The Higher Court in Belgrade has sentenced far-right organization Obraz leader Mladen Obradović to two years for organizing riots during 2010 Pride Parade. 

His wife Jelena was sentenced to a year and Krsta Milovanović and Damir Grbić to a year and a half in prison.

Remaining 13 accused persons received sentences ranging from eight months to a year and a half. They were sentenced to minimum sentences since the envisaged jail time for the criminal acts they committed is one to 12 years.

Obradović and another 13 persons were accused of organizing a group which caused riots in the streets of Belgrade.

The prosecution believes that the defense’s claim that the accused were defending the Orthodoxy is unacceptable and that this was discrimination and rioting.

The prosecution said in its closing argument that slogan “we will fight with all means” is not in the spirit of Orthodox Christianity as the Obraz members claim and that Obradović’s claim that slogan “we are waiting for you” was not a threat was unacceptable.

The defense requested an acquittal, claiming that all defendants had been on their way to pray not to wreck havoc in the city. The defense lawyers accused the authorities of causing riots and pointed out that the trial represented a political persecution.

147 police officers and 25 hooligans were injured and damage totaled to several thousands of euros. 249 persons were detained, including 54 minors.

The Republic Public Prosecution filed a motion to ban the extreme-right organization two years ago, claiming that its members were inciting hatred and discrimination. The Constitutional Court still has not ruled on it.

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