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Czech judge who sentenced Vítkov arsonists has been murdered

Ostrava, 9.7.2012 19:00, (ROMEA)

Detectives are attempting to solve the death of Miloslav Studnička, a judge with the Regional Court in Ostrava. Czech Television has reported that he was found at his cottage in Frenštát pod Radhoštem with his throat cut. The 64-year-old judge presided over the case of the four arsonists who threw Molotov cocktails into the home of a Romani family in Vítkov (Opava district) in 2009.

Police have not released any details of their investigation. The information has been reported that the judge died after a knife attack. "The Moravian-Silesian Regional Police are investigating the circumstances of the death of a 64-year-old man in the Nový Jičín district. We have no comment to make at this time," said North Moravian Police spokesperson Gabriela Holčáková. More information is expected to be released later from the scene of the crime.

Nový Jičín district detectives are at the scene, but in all likelihood the investigation will be taken over by regional-level specialists. Police are now determining when the death occurred. The judge was not found until a colleague at the Regional Court in Ostrava noticed that he had not come to work today.

Judge Studnička is perhaps best known for having presided over the case of four arsonists who threw Molotov cocktails into the home of a Romani family in Vítkov (Opava district) in 2009. The court handed down extraordinary sentences of either 20 or 22 years in prison against the four right-wing extremists in October 2010.

Last year Judge Studnička sentenced a 32-year-old man to 10 years in prison for the rape of two young children in Orlová (Karviná district). This year he sentenced three drug dealers to two, nine and 10 years in prison respectively. He also presided over the case of a woman from Český Těšín whom the state prosecutor charged with defrauding more than 100 people.

In March the Regional Court in Ostrava acquitted eight former managers of the Czech-Moravian Savings Cooperative (Českomoravská družstevní spořitelna). The state prosecutor accused them of participating in illegal machinations that led to the collapse of the savings bank, allegedly depriving the financial institution of more than CZK 300 million. However, the court said the transactions being prosecuted had merely been the result of poor managerial decisions which caused no harm.

Tomáš Lichovník, chair of the Judges' Union of the Czech Republic (Soudcovská unie ČR), says judges in the Czech Republic do not enjoy permanent police protection. "Judges are actually not provided with permanent security, they would be living under the supervision of bodyguards their entire professional careers if that were the case. Naturally, they have the opportunity to request protection from the police at any time," Lichovník told Czech Television.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, Czech Press Agency, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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