The court in Feri's case interrogated the victims behind closed doors

The court in Feri's case interrogated the victims behind closed doors

Court behind closed doors in Feri's case heard afterškozené

Illustrative photo – The court has started hearing the case of former TOP 09 MP Dominik Feri, who is charged with two counts of rape and one attempted rape. February 14, 2023, Prague.

Prague – The District Court for Prague 3, behind closed doors, continued to discuss the case of former MP Dominik Feri, who is facing charges of rape. He questioned the expert, and also questioned the other two injured women for several hours. In the afternoon, Feri was attacked in the corridor during a break by a man who shouted racist insults. The judicial guard handed him over to the police. The main trial will continue at the end of April.

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“I don't know who it was, the judicial guard responded to it, I have no further comment on it,” Feri told reporters after the incident. The man was allegedly waiting for Feri in the corridor, when he came out of the meeting room, he pushed him. The judicial guard subsequently neutralized him. Police spokeswoman Violeta Siřišťová confirmed that the police took over the man, who, according to her, is suspected of an offence. “He will now be questioned at the local department,” the spokeswoman added.

The legal representative of the victims, Adéla Hořejší, said after the meeting that all her clients, including those whose cases were postponed by the police, are very brave. “Of course, it is very demanding, and I must say that all women are really extremely brave. I admire them, I wouldn't be able to stand it,” she answered when asked by journalists how she evaluated the several-hour interrogations of the victims.

Feri already denied on Tuesday that he committed sexual violence. In his statement to the media, he named one of the women whose case the police investigated and then dismissed. Her superior criticized him for it, according to her it is intimidation.

“I consider it necessary to make it clear to all journalists that the 'shower' and the 'bedside table', which is what some journalists have repeated as an eternal hit, that it is not part of the main story, that it is not something that was further addressed and that it was something that happened consensually,” Feri told reporters today before the meeting about why he released the name. He did not want to comment after the meeting.

The question of whether Feri could have broken the law by publishing sensitive data from the criminal file will be investigated by both the police and the Office for the Protection of Personal Data (ÚOOÚ). The Criminal Code forbids the further provision of information from law enforcement authorities that enable the identity of the accused, victim, involved person or witness to be ascertained. “At the moment, we are determining whether we will deal with the matter at all,” Prague police spokesman Jan Daněk told ČTK in the morning.

ÚOOÚ spokesman Milan Řepka then wrote to ČTK in the early evening that the office had not yet received any request to investigate Feri's conduct. “However, we will deal with the matter and we will contact the relevant law enforcement authorities with a request to provide information on the status of the person whose identity Mr. Feri disclosed in relation to the criminal proceedings,” he said. The office will then decide on the next course of action. In general terms, he added that the publication of sensitive data from criminal proceedings may result in a fine of up to five million crowns.

Today, Feri added to the publication of the name that he acted under pressure and emotions. “Certainly, I could have spoken more happily, but I stand by the fact that in this particular case, the fact that I published the name is not a victim. It was completely consensual,” said the former deputy. He also criticized some media.

Prosecutor Petra Gřivnová describes three acts in the indictment. According to her, the first happened on the night of March 25, 2016, in Feri's apartment in Prague 3. According to the plaintiff, Feri tried to kiss and touch the underage girl at the time, although she let him know that she did not want intimate contact with him. Feri allegedly then began to tell her that she was immature and coaxed her into intimacy. The prosecution claims that when the girl wanted to leave the apartment, Feri offered her a soft drink, after consuming which she fell into a state of “partial loss of consciousness”. Feri then performed oral sex with the girl, among other things, according to the file.

According to the plaintiff, the second act happened in November 2016, again in Feri's apartment. According to the indictment, Feri had sexual intercourse with this woman despite her disapproval. According to the plaintiff, the third incident happened at the end of February 2018, when Feri invited a woman to the Chamber of Deputies because of a possible intern position. According to the indictment, Feri began touching her in the kitchen, tried to kiss her and ignored her objections. The girl managed to leave, the public prosecutor therefore qualifies the act as attempted rape.

Feri denied guilt in all the described cases. Regarding the first case, he said on Tuesday that he only kissed the girl and did not press her when she did not want to continue. He flatly refused to give her a drugged drink. He told the other woman that she had consensual intercourse with him. According to his words, Feri also kissed the third girl, whom the prosecution is talking about, with her consent.

After the girls' statements were published in the media, Feri resigned from his parliamentary mandate and announced that he would not run in the autumn elections to the House of Representatives. He also finished in TOP 09 and withdrew from public life.