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Czech landlord files criminal charges against tenants on Přednádraží street

Ostrava, 4.5.2013 16:18, (ROMEA)
The properties on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava, May 2013. (PHOTO:  Patrik Banga)
The properties on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava, May 2013. (PHOTO: Patrik Banga)

Oldřich Roztočil, the owner of the ghetto buildings on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava, has filed criminal charges against the people still living in the last property there. Roztočil now wants them to move out. He originally gave them a deadline of 17:00 on Friday, 3 May.

Around 30 people still remain in the building and are refusing to leave. Roztočil signed new leases with them last Monday, but was subsequently unable to get the Building Works Authority to change its evaluation of the case. The property has never been registered as residential.

Oldřich Roztočil: "On Friday I went to the police station and filed criminal charges at 18:00. In the first place I do not want anyone living in that building any longer, and in the second place their living there isn’t allowed, it’s prohibited."

"On Friday I went to the police station and filed criminal charges at 18:00. In the first place I do not want anyone living in that building any longer, and in the second place their living there isn’t allowed, it’s prohibited. The police told me I have to supply documentation to that effect,” Roztočil told the Czech Press Agency today. He said he is now addressing how to get the tenants out of the building because the police will definitely not intervene.

Police spokesperson Gabriela Holčáková confirmed that the police have received a motion with respect to the Přednádraží case. "The matter has not, at this moment, been assessed legally yet. The person reporting the crime was asked to supply certain information. The police will gather all the information and then proceed in accordance with the law,” Holčáková said.

Roztočil renewed the tenants' leases for two months after a court ruled that his company did not have to pay a fine for not evacuating the buildings. However, according to Regional Court spokesperson Lucie Böhmová, the court did not address the issue of whether the evacuation was correctly ordered and has not ruled on that issue at all. According to Jana Pondělíčková, the spokesperson for the municipal department of Moravská Ostrava a Přívoz, the Building Works Authority is still insisting that its instruction to evacuate the occupants from the buildings is still in effect.

Roztočil said he does not know what to do next. "I do not intend to take these people hostage and I don’t want to fight with them. However, I do insist they must leave. If the instruction to evacuate the buildings applies, then the municipal department should take care of it,” he said.

Kumar Vishwanathan, director of the Life Together (Vzájemné soužití) association, which is helping the people on Přednádraží Street, also believes the municipal department should assist the people. In his view there are enough vacant municipally-owned apartments available to house the people locally if the municipality would lease them.

"They have nowhere else to go. We will have to turn to the authorities on Monday,” Vishwanathan said. The association has since leased an apartment to one young couple from Přednádraží Street, but no one else from there is planning to move out for now.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Ostrava, Přednádraží, Czech republic, Ghetto, Housing, news, Roma



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