Dabar populiaru
Published: 10 december 2012 08:32

London court acquits Lithuanian basketball fan accused of racism

Petras Leščinskas tapo pirmuoju, nuteistu už sunkų rasistinį išpuolį Londono olimpinėse žaidynėse.
AFP/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Petras Leščinskas during a basketball match in London Olympics

A London court dropped charges against Lithuanian citizen Petras Leščinskas who was accused of inciting racial hatred during the London Olympics, Artūras Mirončikas, a representative of Lithuanian basketball fans, said on Friday.

"A court of appeal's hearing was held at Snaresbrook Crown Court, and Judge Sanders ruled that prosecutors had insufficient evidence to prove that any kind of public crime of racist nature was committed on 31 August 2012 during a basketball match between the Lithuanian and Nigerian national basketball teams. All charges against Leščinskas were dropped and the case was closed," the statement said.

Leščinskas, 36, was detained during the basketball match and later fined by a British court for making monkey-like sounds, showing Nazi salutes, and making other racist actions.

A few days earlier, the British media had published a photograph from a basketball match between Lithuania and Argentina showing another Lithuanian fan holding his arm up, with black security guards standing near-by. Some viewers said it was a Nazi salute.

Fans supporting the Lithuanian men's basketball team in London said then the British law enforcement misinterpreted their chanting. They later issued a statement saying that they condemned any form of discrimination based on skin color, race, sexual orientation, or religion.

BNS
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