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Slovakia: Former municipal cop gets nine years for murdering three Romani people

Bratislava, Slovakia, 28.3.2013 1:22, (ROMEA)
Milan Juhász in court, 2013. (Source:  Reprofoto sme.sk)
Milan Juhász in court, 2013. (Source: Reprofoto sme.sk)

A court in Slovakia today sentenced former municipal police officer Milan Juhász to nine years in prison for shooting to death three people and injuring two others last year in the southern town of Hurbanovo. The court also ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment.

The defendant had originally faced the possibility of life in prison. The judges gave him a lighter sentence at the suggestion of the prosecutor and after testimony by experts that the shooter was not completely sane when he committed the crime. The verdict has taken effect, as no appeals were filed by either side.

The case drew attention because the victims were from a Romani family. It was speculated that Juhász had wanted to "solve the problem of inadaptable residents" by shooting them, but a racial motivation for the shooting was never confirmed.

"I am very sorry about what happened. I don't have anything else to say," the defendant was quoted by the media as having told the Special Criminal Court, which in Slovakia reviews the most serious crime cases. Juhász confessed to the murders and raised no objections to the charges, which made it possible for the court to shorten the trial and focus only on witness testimony that could influence the length of the sentence.

The court saw eye-to-eye with the indictment. The prosecutor claimed Juhász planned the murder and said it had not been a case of impulsive behavior, but justified reducing the proposed sentence to less than the lowest possible term of 25 years in prison because of the conclusions reached by a psychiatric examination of the defendant. The defense, on the other hand, proposed their client be acquitted, arguing he should not be held criminally liable, as he is mentally disturbed.

The tragedy took place last June in front of the home of the shooter's victims. Juhász used an illegal weapon to shoot dead a 44-year-old man, the man's son and the man's son-in-law. Another son of the head of the family was shot through the lung and his wife's leg was injured. After committing the crime, Juhász threatened to shoot himself but gave himself up after negotiating with police.

Experts claimed during the trial that Juhász committed a crime of passion. A medical examination of the defendant found neurological damage to his brain. The experts therefore proposed that he be admitted for psychiatric treatment. During the investigation of the tragedy, speculations surfaced that he might be acquitted due to insanity.

The shooting in Hurbanovo was reminiscent of a similar massacre in a peripheral section of Bratislava in 2010. During that incident the assailant shot dead seven people and then committed suicide, allegedly because of disputes with his neighbors.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Aktuality, Bezpečnost, Bratislava, CEE, Evropa, Slovensko, Soud, Vražda, zprávy, Romové, news, Roma, Kriminalita, Hurbanovo



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