Czech prosecutor to review police procedure in case of Romani man who died in pizzeria
The regional-level Office of the State Prosecutor will be reviewing the case of 26-year-old Miroslav Demeter, Jr., who died on 18 October 2016 at the Panamera Pizzeria in the Czech town of Žatec. The father of the deceased has informed news server Romea.cz of the development.
The case was closed by police with the finding that the young man died as a consequence of drug use, not as a result of any third-party intervention. The district-level Office of the State Prosecutor in Louny has approved of the police procedure in the case.
On the basis of eyewitness testimonies and various video recordings of the circumstances of the death, the family of the deceased has refused to accept the police conclusions and has filed a complaint with the supervising regional-level prosecutor. That office now wants to review the police investigation.
"We are terribly glad that our son's case will be reviewed. We had all but stopped hoping for it, but it's brilliant news," Miroslav Demeter, Sr., the father of the deceased, told news server Romea.cz.
"We learned that the police had transferred the file to the Regional State Prosecutor last week when we visited the police in Ústí nad Labem," Mr Demeter, Sr. said. JUDr. Michal Pacovský, the family's attorney, had compiled a detailed complaint and submitted it.
"We believe police proceeded incorrectly and that their investigation was neither exhaustive nor well-conducted," Pacovský previously told news server Romea.cz. According to him, the way the police conducted the investigation and went about discovering clues as to what happened was flawed.
For example, the police spent the first 14 days of their investigation focusing just on what the deceased had done prior to his death and what his movements about town had been. Their interrogation of eyewitnesses at the scene of his death, and their investigation of what happened immediately before his death and subsequent to it, was not begun until after those two weeks, the family's attorney has informed news server Romea.cz.
"We would have reviewed this matter even if the submission had not been justified in such detail. We consider the motion from the attorney for the father of the damaged party one that requires addressing," Jan Jakovec, the regional head of the state prosecutor's office, told news server Lidovky.cz.
The case file was taken over by the regional office on 13 March and their assessment will be released within two months. Theoretically the regional-level prosecutors could instruct that the case be re-opened.
Police shelved the case after concluding no crime had been committed and reporting that there was no evidence that the death had been caused by a third party. News server Romea.cz learned of the conclusion from a police report more than 40 pages long summarizing information from the expert assessments and detailed testimonies of the eyewitnesses, as well as descriptions of the video footage available to detectives.
- Czech Govt Roma Council discusses death case, Romani representatives express growing sense of danger
- Czech Police find no crime was committed in death of Romani man last fall
- Romani family files complaint against Czech investigation of death
- Czech Republic: Investigation into Romani man's death continues as interethnic gulf widens
- Woman says intercity bus driver in northern Czech town racially abused her and called for the death of all Roma before physically throwing her onto a road
- Czech Police director of the Karlovy Vary Region: Internal Affairs Department investigating video of intervention by police in Sokolov
- European Roma Rights Centre: It may take years to legally resolve the death of Stanislav Tomáš, information cannot be released during an ongoing investigation
- Czech capital to see demonstration for Stanislav Tomáš today expressing disagreement with police intervention and support for local community
- Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry announces its readiness to communicate findings of investigation into Teplice case
- Amnesty International calls on the Czech authorities to immediately, impartially and thoroughly investigate the police intervention after which a Romani man died
- Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights will investigate controversial police intervention after which Romani community member Stanislav Tomáš died
- Romani community turns site of young man's death in Czech town into a place of reverence
- Romani man dies after Czech Police kneel on his neck, they say drugs caused his death. Romani activists see parallels to George Floyd
- Slovak MP who is also a Romani community member accused of sexually abusing a teenaged girl, claims he is innocent
- Vojtěch Lavička on the Ostrava incident: Knowing how to communicate can prevent dangerous conflicts
- Czech Police assess incident where man pointed a gun at a seven-year-old Romani boy as a misdemeanor