Former MP Feri Asserts His Innocence As Sexual Violence Trial Begins In Prague
Feri faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Photo credit: Freepik
Prague, Feb 14 (CTK) – Former MP Dominik Feri’s trial on two counts of rape and one of attempted rape began at the Prague District 3 Court today. On his arrival to the court, Feri repeated his denial of ever committing any type of sexual violence, and said he believed that the court would acquit him of all allegations.
“I might have, let us say, not met the expectations of some girls, I am saying that with all humility. But I have never committed any violence, any sexual violence,” he said, adding that he would cooperate fully with the proceedings and answer questions as he had during preparations for the trial.
Feri faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Prosecutors claim that Feri committed one of the offences on a woman who was 17 years old at the time, which would make her a youth according to Czech law.
The former TOP 09 MP has previously refused the accusations, saying he was ready to prove his innocence as in the cases the police have already shelved.
Today, at the beginning of the trial, Feri again stated that he did not agree with the accusations. He denied having had intercourse with one of the women, saying that he respected her decision not to have sex with him, and denied he had put any narcotics into her drink, as the prosecution case alleges.
As for the other rape charge, he said the intercourse had been consensual, adding that the girl communicated with him afterwards.
The police launched criminal proceedings against Feri after several women accused him publicly of sexual pressure, harassment and violence in the spring of 2021.
Denik N and Alarm published the testimonies of several women, claiming Feri had behaved inappropriately from 2015-2020. Some said he had forced them to have sex with him even though they had clearly refused. Others said he had solicited explicit pictures from them and had publicly shamed them.
In reaction to the women’s testimonies, Feri, 26, who was one of the most popular politicians in the country among young people, resigned from his mandate in the Chamber of Deputies and announced that he would not run in the autumn 2021 general election. He also left TOP 09 and withdrew from public life, apologising for his “inappropriate” behaviour.
He told reporters today that he has been fully focusing on the trial.
Victim and expert testimony during the trial will be held behind closed doors as sensitive details will be discussed, the judge said.