Prague - District Court in Tachov has ruled that Ivo Kokrment did not attack policemen during a CzechTek outdoor techno party in 2005. The Justice Ministry has to pay for all Kokrment's legal costs.
"Police charged me for not stopping my car when they told me to and for driving into a policeman. In reality I only started to argue with one policeman and he then attacked me," said Kokrment.
The court cleared the defendant after several of his acquaintances witnessed in his favour and the policemen's testimonies turned out to be inconsistent.
This has been at least the third case in which a court backed a participant of the event. The techno party ended after a violent police intervention, authorized by some cabinet ministers.
Kokrment's lawyer Matěj Dvořák says that the case is not yet over. Another issue is that police handcuffed Kokrment, causing him injuries after which he could not use his hands for a month.
"This is allegedly part of an Interior Ministry investigation. We want to make sure that the case gets resolved," said Dvořák.
Earlier this year, Prague Municipal Court ordered the Interior Ministry to apologize to two other participants of the 2005 CzechTek event, and to pay them damages worth CZK 10,000 and CZK 20,000. Ondřej Holous and Pavel Kuchař turned to courts after police threw a smoke bomb into their car.
František Bublan, who was Interior Minister at that time, now refuses to comment on the court rulings, but admits that individual policemen might have erred. "If police committed some excesses, they have to bear the responsibility," Bublan told Aktuálně.cz.
Water cannons against field tramplers
The CzechTek party with some 5,000 participants took place in July 2005. The organizers rented a field in the Tachov region and announced the event to local authorities.
But owners of the land adjacent to the CzechTek field filed a police report and the public prosecutor decided the dancers were causing damage by trampling on the adjacent land. Riot police then ended the party.
The police interference immediately became subject of a heated debate. The most contested issue was the fact that police used tear gas, truncheons and water cannons.