Vondrasek defended the actions of Prague police officers during the incident and said their intervention had been in accordance with the law. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, March 27 (CTK) – Czech police have so far launched criminal proceedings against seven of those detained during an incident outside the National Museum in Prague after an anti-government demonstration on 11 March, Police President Martin Vondrasek told Czech Television yesterday.

He defended the actions of Prague police officers during the incident and said their intervention had been in accordance with the law.

On Saturday, 11 March, several hundred participants in a demonstration on Wenceslas Square attempted to break into the National Museum building and remove the Ukrainian flag from its front wall. 20 of the rioters were arrested, and three police were injured.

The police subsequently rejected claims they had provoked the conflict. They said they had used force only after some participants in the incident escalated their aggression and failed to respond to repeated appeals from the police.

Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN) also described the police intervention as professional.

Vondrasek yesterday reiterated that the police had detained 20 people after they ignored police appeals. Out of the seven criminal proceedings launched, two are related to speeches at the demonstration, another two people are accused of attacking public officials, and the remaining three have been charged with damaging other people’s property, breaching the peace and violent behaviour, as they attacked a passing car with a Ukrainian number plate, Vondrasek said.

The incident also involved Miroslav Sevcik, the dean of the Faculty of Economics at the Prague University of Economics and Business (VSE), which triggered a dispute over his remaining in the post.

Sevcik claims that he had only accompanied a man who had been beaten up by the police.

Vondrasek said yesterday that Sevcik had spoken to one of the riot police commanders during the incident and the commander told him that he should report any potentially illegal acts he had witnessed to the nearest police station.

“This did not happen,” Vondrasek said.

VSE Rector Petr Dvorak previously said Sevcik’s actions on 11 March and other occasions had harmed the university’s reputation and that Sevcik should resign from his post. Sevcik said he saw no reason to do so. On Thursday, Dvorak asked to convene an extraordinary session of the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Economics to discuss Sevcik’s dismissal.

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