Czech High Court reduces sentence for local politician convicted of drug trafficking
The High Court in Prague has reduced the sentence handed down to Marcel Cichý, a former city assembly member and teacher in Trmice, Czech Republic, for drug trafficking. Instead of the original seven and a half years in prison to which he was sentenced, he will now serve five.
The verdict is the fourth to be pronounced in the case. "The decision as to his guilt is not changed," Jan Fořt, spokesperson for the High Court in Prague, told the Czech daily Mladá fronta DNES at the end of April.
The sentencing for Marcel Cichý's accomplices remains unchanged. Pavel Kišš, the grower of the marijuana involved, received a three-year suspended sentence, while Ladislav Cichý was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having also sold methamphetamine to Slovakia.
According to the legal qualification for the crime of which he was convicted, Marcel Cichý also faced a possible sentence of between 10 and 18 years in prison. Presiding judge Jiří Bednář justified handing down a much shorter sentence by noting that Marcel Cichý had no prior criminal record, had been given a good assessment by character witnesses and experts, and had been involved in volunteer work in the community.
To sentence Marcel Cichý within the stipulated range of 10 to 18 years, the judge said, would have been too strict. It was also very important that the sale of the drugs was actually never realized.
"No harmful consequences have arisen, therefore. It was also essential to his assessment that Mr Marcel Cichý's collaborator, Ladislav Cichý, who committed a more extensive crime including exporting methamphetamine to Slovakia, was given the shortest sentence possible under the circumstances, i.e., 10 years. Under the circumstances, to give the same sentence to a person who had committed a crime of essentially smaller dimensions would have been disproportionate," the judge said after the Regional Court handed down its verdict in January of seven and a half years.
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- † 17. 5. 1998, Orlová, Czech Republic: Milan Lacko