A Czech lawyers' questioning a court expert’s fairness because of his Jewish origin has cost him a professional ban of one year.
The attorney, Petr Koci, complained to the court, "As a person of Jewish origin, the expert certainly perceives very sensitively the question of the Shoah (Holocaust) and the German National Socialism. Like many of his peers, he tends to react with increased sensitivity, that may reach an inappropriate touchiness, to any signs in this respect.”
His remarks caused a public outcry.
The Czech Bar Association (CAK) responded by slapping Koci with a one-year professional ban, the CTK Czech news agency reported.
CAK spokeswoman Iva Chaloupkova told journalists, "According to the CAK disciplinary panel, Koci claimed that the expert was biased on the grounds of his ethnic origin, which is quite unacceptable.”
Koci can appeal the decision.
He argued that that he filed the complaint on the instructions of his client, but the bar association responded, “A lawyer must obey legal regulations in the first place and only within them a client's instructions.”
Koci was representing Lucie Slegrova, a member of the far-right Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS).
She was prosecuted over her public statements she made at a rally in 2010, and court expert Michael Mazel concluded that she promoted Nazism and anti-Semitism in her speech.
Koci and Slegrova claimed Mazel’s name derives from the Hebrew Moshe.