Commentary: TV Nova turns Romani murder victim into sausage thief
In its main news reporting on the evening of 25 March 2014, TV Nova presented a report about an attack committed last May in Teplice, Czech Republic during which a Romani man was murdered. The degree of false information in that report is unbelievable.
Renáta Czadernová, the TV Nova moderator, read the following: "A man was sentenced to five years in prison for killing a thief over sausages. The unfortunate incident occurred last May during celebrations to mark the start of the spa season in Teplice. The owner of the refreshment stand, Stanislav Sýkora, stabbed a man whom he suspected of having stolen the sausages."
The Romani men who were assaulted by Sýkora and a friend of his are described here as sausage thieves. The attack is described as having occurred because of that theft.
During the course of the trial, it was proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that no such theft ever occurred, and the judge stated that no such theft ever occurred when giving the reasoning of his verdict, a moment at which journalists from TV Nova were present. TV Nova has also reported that the assault was committed at 4 AM when in fact it occurred at midnight.
Moreover, TV Nova is claiming that Sýkora was the owner of the stand. That is not true - Sýkora has never been involved with the stand in any way whatsoever.
The TV Nova report did not stress at all that both attackers assaulted a group of Romani men for the sole reason that they were out enjoying themselves at a loud volume. Sýkora drew a knife on one of them and tried to strike him in the belly with it.
That man had the good luck to jump out of the way. Sýkora then attacked the other members of the group, killing one and inflicting stab wounds on two others.
It is scandalous that the court has categorized what happened merely as felony assault. The essence of that crime is that everyone involved in a brawl is equivalently a perpetrator.
A case in which a group of people is assaulted by more than one attacker and simply defends themselves cannot be considered a brawl. This case involved exactly that scenario of self-defense.
Sýkora should have been convicted of murder, because he had to have known that stabbing someone with a knife in the chest could cause their death. All we can hope is that the state prosecutor appeals the verdict, that the Superior Court overturns it, and that Sýkora will receive a harsher sentence.
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