Czech court postpones announcing verdict in case that sparked 2013 anti-Roma unrest
Today the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem postponed until 19 March its proclamation of the verdict in the case of last year's brutal assault on a married couple in Duchcov (Teplice district). Presiding Judge Jana Kurešová informed the press that the court wants to review additional evidence.
The hearing is closed to the public because one of the defendants was a juvenile at the time of the crime. "During the judges' conference we came to the opinion that we need to take into account the value of the motorbike that the defendants are charged with attempting to steal," Kurešová said.
The presiding judge said she believes the court will hand down its verdict on 19 March. The incident occurred last year during the late night and early morning hours of 18 and 19 May.
The attack was preceded by a scuffle near a restaurant in Duchcov, where the youngest defendant and another youth wanted to steal a bike. They beat up the owner of the bike, breaking his arm and nose and bruising his entire body.
Two hours later, according to court papers, the juvenile assailant provoked a conflict with a married couple on Bratří Čapků Street, not far from where the bike incident occurred. The youth used a tree branch almost two meters long to attack the husband.
Three other assailants joined him and brutally attacked the wife as well. While the prosecution did not charge the defendants with racial motivation, Klára Kalibová, the couple's legal representative, stated previously that she believes the incident was one of racism.
Kalibová's clients are seeking court-ordered compensation. The prosecutor is charging the assailants with grievous bodily harm (some with attempted GBH) and rioting; the youngest defendant is also charged with making criminal threats.
The youth allegedly threatened the couple as they were being placed in an ambulance for transport to hospital. He faces up to six years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
The attack sparked anti-Romani unrest in the town. Right-wing extremists held several demonstrations there last year.
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