Home News Pole gets jail for firebombing Hungarian centre in Ukraine

Pole gets jail for firebombing Hungarian centre in Ukraine

Published on March 23, 2020

A Polish court on Monday gave a three-year prison sentence to a pro-Russian, far-right Pole accused of planning the firebombing of a Hungarian cultural centre in Ukraine in 2018, according to local media.

The young man identified as Michal P. claimed the operation — in which no one was injured — was financed by a German journalist with ties to a lawmaker from Germany’s far-right AfD party, the Polish PAP news agency reported.

The February 2018 fire, which partially damaged the cultural building in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod, came amid tension between Ukraine’s authorities and the Hungarian minority in the country’s west.

Michal P. and two other pro-Russian, far-right young Poles were later arrested in Poland.

Michal P. claimed that the act was financed by German journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter, who he said had hoped the firebombing would be attributed to Ukrainian nationalists.

Ochsenreiter has links to AfD lawmaker Markus Frohnmaier. Both men denied any involvement in interviews with German media.

The court in the southern city of Krakow called the firebombing incident — which also saw the Poles tag the building with a swastika and the 88 number used as Nazi code for Heil Hitler — a “crime of a terrorist nature”.

Michal P’s accomplices were also given sentences: one year in jail for one and two years of probation plus community service for the other.