The Czech Supreme Court has rejected a complaint by four men who in 2009 firebombed a Romany home, and upheld their sentences of 20 and 22 years in jail, a spokesman for the court said on Wednesday. The four arsonists threw a Molotov cocktail into a house in the village of Vítkov in the north of the country, inhabited by a Romany family. A two-year-old girl suffered severe burns in the attack, and has since had to undergo a series of operations. The court rejected the appeal as “obviously unsubstantiated”, the spokesman said.
Four Czech neo-Nazis on Wednesday received prison terms of 22 and 20 years for attempted murder after a shocking petrol bomb attack on a Romany family’s home last year. The unusual length of the sentences has provoked some debate in the Czech Republic; the country’s president has expressed surprise that the punishment is so severe, while others have welcomed the verdict.
The Vítkov arson trial came to an end on Wednesday with the conviction of all four defendants, who received extra-ordinary sentences. The Regional Court of Ostrava on Wednesday morning sent three of the culprits to 22 years in prison for racially motivated attempted murder. The remaining perpetrator received 20 years because he did not assist in planning the attack. The four neo-Nazis were found guilty of throwing Molotov cocktails into a house they knew was inhabited by a Romany family on April 19, 2009, likely to mark the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler. Of the nine people in the house, three were injured in the attack, including a two-year-old child, Natálka, who suffered burns to 80% of her body. The girl’s mother was present at the sentencing and said she had not expected such high punishments, and was glad the case was over. The perpetrators must also pay more than 17 million crowns in compensation for damages, 9.5 million of which will go to the injured child. Lawyers for each of the defendants said they would appeal.
The highly-publicized Vítkov court case in which four neo-Nazis are standing trial for an arson attack against a Roma family is slowly drawing to a close. In one of the final hearings on Tuesday the state attorney demanded exemplary prison sentences of up to 25 years for what she said was premeditated, racially motivated attempted murder.
Closing speeches of the prosecution, defence counsels and defendants in
the Vítkov case, in which four men stand accused of a firebomb attack on a
Roma family, will be heard in the first week of October. A court in Ostrava
on Thursday finished hearing evidence and adjourned the trial until October
5 and 6.
The men allegedly threw fire bombs into the Roma’s home in Vítkov, northern Moravia in April 2009. A two year-old girl suffered severe burns in the attack and doctors say it will permanently affect her health. If found guilty, the four men could be given life sentences.
New evidence emerged on Monday at the trial of four neo-Nazis accused of racially-motivated murder after throwing petrol bombs through the windows of the home of a Roma family last year. A two-year-old girl was horrifically burned in the attack, which has received unprecedented attention here in the Czech Republic.
The trial of four men accused of launching a racially motivated fire bomb attack on a Roma family heard on Thursday how the youngest victim of the attack suffered horrific injuries. Police described how burning petrol could reach temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees Celsius. A doctor afterwards testified that the not yet two-year-old Natálka suffered second and third degree burns on almost 77 percent of her body and almost died several times. She now has to live with life long scars and injuries, the expert added. The attack took place in the eastern town of Vítkov in Apríl 2009.
Four far-right extremists accused of a firebomb attack on a Romany family’s home are not insane and are capable of understanding the danger of their actions, a court appointed psychiatrist said during their trial on Tuesday. He said none of them displayed signs of being psychopaths or pyromaniacs. The four face charges of racially motivated attempted murder after a petrol bomb attack in the town of Vítkov last April that left three members of a Romany family injured. The most seriously hurt was Natálie Siváková, who suffered burns on 80 percent of her body and was at one point close to death.
The family of the young Roma girl who was almost killed during an arson attack on their home at Vítkov near Opava in April 2009 started to give evidence at the trial of four men accused of the attack. The grandmother of Natálka, the not yet two-year-old who was in hospital for months with severe burns, said it could clearly be seen from outside that the light in her room was on and the television switched on. She said she saw a dark vehicle leaving the scene after the attack and heard a cry "burn gypsies". One of the accused said that the attack would not have happened if they had seen movement inside the house. The mother of the young girl asked to give evidence in the absence of the defendants. The prosecution says the four who took part in the attack were members of an extreme right-wing group and intended the attack to mark the 120 years since the birth of Adolf Hitler.