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Czech Police find no crime was committed in death of Romani man last fall

2.2.2017 15:49
The CCTV footage from the pizzeria in the Czech town of Žatec where a young Romani man died on 18 October 2016. (PHOTO:  iDNES.cz)
The CCTV footage from the pizzeria in the Czech town of Žatec where a young Romani man died on 18 October 2016. (PHOTO: iDNES.cz)

Czech Police have shelved the case of a young Romani man, Mr Miroslav Demeter, who died tragically on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 at around 19:00 in the Panamera Pizzeria in Žatec, Czech Republic. Police found no felony had been committed in relation to the incident.

News server Romea.cz has reviewed the police resolution on the case, which is more than 40 pages long and contains information from expert witness assessments and detailed eyewitness testimonies, as well as describing the video footage of the incident that the investigating detective had available. "It has been decided to suspend prosecution of the criminal matter of negligent homicide in the case of Miroslav Demeter because the culpability of a third party in his death was not found," Jindřich Koželuh, Deputy District State Prosecutor in Louny, told news server Romea.cz.

"In this matter there is no suspicion of a felony (tort) and it is not appropriate to deal with this matter in any other way," reads the resolution. The family of the deceased has now filed a complaint through their attorney against the resolution.

"We disagree with the suspension of the investigation into this case because, in our opinion, the police never dedicated proper care to it. Our arguments as to how we draw that conclusion are listed in our complaint," the father of the deceased told news server Romea.cz.

"...none of the persons contributing to the pacification of Miroslav Demeter, who subsequently died, committed any behavior that could have been undertaken with the intention of causing a person's death and would have been able to induce such a result," the police resolution reads.
The eyewitness testimonies, according to the detective, all describe the incident in basically the same way and only differ in the number of blows that they describe being made against the person of Mr Demeter prior to his death. Some of the eyewitnesses even allege no blows were ever struck against him, despite the fact that the video footage from the municipal police camera system documents that he was indeed beaten.

"From the evidence accumulated, however, it follows that none of the persons contributing to the pacification of Miroslav Demeter, who subsequently died, committed any behavior that could have been undertaken with the intention of causing a person's death and would have been able to induce such a result," the police resolution reads. "The only documented force of a dynamic nature was the approximately five blows using the hand that were struck to the upper half of Miroslav Demeter's body," the High Commissioner states in the resolution, adding that the blows, struck by one of the customers in the pizzeria were, according to police, undertaken for the purpose of forcing Mr Demeter, who had bitten down on the customer's leg, causing him pain, to release his bite.

This means the behavior of the municipal police officer, who was present the entire time, was also lawful, according to the resolution. The dramatic punches were said to have just caused "insignificant superficial bruises", according to the resolution.

The notion that the reason for such dramatic punches was the fact that the pacified Mr Demeter, who was prone on the ground beneath the weight of several adult men who were kneeling on him, had bitten the leg of one of them is, of course, contradicted by what other eyewithesses reported, as stated in the resolution, none of whom testified to having seen any such thing. The police resolution states that "...the deceased, Miroslav Demeter, did not die because his organs were damaged by a third-pary attack, but because of significant physiological degenerative changes to Mr Demeter's internal organs, primarily his heart, that were caused by long-term use of methamphetamine... At the same time it is possible to deduce that long-term use of methamphetamine had impacted Miroslav Demeter's psyche, and his behavior and speech, recorded during the course of the entire day on 18 October 2016, is a testament to the fact that the methamphetamine sparked attacks of anxiety, delusion, fear and a feeling of persecution in him," the police resolution reads.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Policie, smrt , Smrt Roma v Žatci, úmrtí



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