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Czech Police reconstruct murder of Romani man, shooter faces 20 years in prison if convicted

14.8.2017 12:25
The shooting of a Romani man in Chomutov on 27 May 2017. (COLLAGE:  Romea.cz)
The shooting of a Romani man in Chomutov on 27 May 2017. (COLLAGE: Romea.cz)

Czech Police performed a reconstruction during the night of Friday 11 August of the May murder of a Romani man at a housing estate in the town of Chomutov. The re-enactment involved the 37-year-old man who has been accused of the murder, supervising State Prosecutor Vladimír Jan told the Czech News Agency.

Police chose to do the reconstruction at night in order to recreate the conditions of the incident as closely as possible. If convicted, the man faces between 12 and 20 years in prison.

On 25 May around 3 AM, police say the man who has now been charged with the killing heard noise from the street, looked out the window, and saw a van crashing into parked cars. The driver then attempted to drive away, heading the van in the direction of his relatives standing in front of the building on the sidewalk, the people with whom he had been having an argument.

The man watching from the window immediately grabbed his licensed firearm, ran out in front of the building, and began to shoot at the van as it drove past, hitting the driver several times and causing him serious injuries from which he died at the scene. The shooter then waited for the police to arrive.

On 11 August, just after 2 AM, police officers began to arrive at the location of the May crime scene and closed off the connecting streets around the building in front of which the shooting happened. Besides detectives there were also police dogs and riot units.

An investigative attempt at reconstructing the events proceeded. Police re-enacted the shooting victim driving past the building in his van.

"The aim of this investigative attempt is to verify certain facts," Jan said. "The purpose of the reconstruction is to re-enact the entire course of the incident."

"The reconstruction involved the cooperation of the accused, without whom it would not have been possible," the supervising state prosecutor added. The accused demonstrated to detectives how he recalls the incident unfolding.

Detectives chose to re-enact what happened at almost the same time of day that the shooting took place. "That was for the purpose of recreating the conditions that prevailed at the time to the greatest possible extent," Jan said.

The detectives' work ended at about 5 AM. The legal qualification of the case remains unchanged.

The accused has been charged with murder under the second paragraph of the Criminal Code, and if convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He has been in custody since the end of May, where he was remanded because the court was convinced he would influence eyewitnesses if at liberty.

ČTK, voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Chomutov, Policie, Vražda, vyšetřování



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