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Around Slovenia
11.03.2010 12:10
CRIME, VIOLENCE
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Attackers of Gay Rights Activist Sentenced to Prison

Ljubljana, 11 March (STA) - Three men who attacked and injured gay rights activist Mitja Blazic in June 2009 were sentenced to a year and a half in prison each on account of publicly inciting hatred, violence and intolerance, daily Delo reported on Thursday. They received half of the maximum penalty for this kind of crime.

The defendants violated "one of the basic human rights, the right to sexual orientation" when they assaulted Blazic, the president of the court senate Mojca Zalar Kocjancic said as she handed out the verdict.

Blazic was attacked in front of a bar in Ljubljana during a literary evening as part of a gay and lesbian literature festival.

Marko Kous, Jan Stenovec and Jernej Sercer admitted the attack and said they were sorry, although they claimed they did not mean to harm anyone, as they only came to the spot to express their opinion "just as they can too", but then things are said to have gone out of control, according to Delo.

However, they failed to explain why they came to the bar masked and carrying stones and torches.

Their legal representatives announced to appeal the sentence. While Kous was in custody and then in house arrest for more than eight months, Stenovec and Sercer were in house arrest for five months, but have been released to remain free until the sentence is final.

The attackers, who had no previous convictions, had also been charged with thuggery and public endangerment, but were acquitted.

ale/zm
11.03.2010 12:10

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