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Czech Republic: Vigil held for Romani man shot dead yesterday

28.5.2017 11:54

Yesterday in Chomutov a vigil was held to honor the memory of a 34-year-old Romani man who was shot dead at about 3 AM. The suspected shooter was arrested by police at the scene and today it is anticipated that his criminal prosecution will begin and that a motion will be filed to remand him into custody on suspicion of murder.

Approximately 150 people, most of them Romani, assembled at the scene and, according to Renata Kováčová, a reporter for news server, the situation was very tense. "Police had removed the tape that had marked off the crime scene in the afternoon. About 20 minutes ago, i.e., just before the vigil was meant to begin, they taped the scene off again and are preventing the Romani people from lighting their candles at the scene," she described.

"The mourners are being to told to find another place to hold their vigil," Kováčová reported. After 6 PM, however, police began to allow Romani people to light candles in small groups there.

According to police spokesperson Daniel Vítek, the police needed to further inspect the scene to discover more clues regarding the incident. Closing off the space was not connected with the vigil, he said.

"During our investigation we acquired the information that some other clues important to the criminal proceedings might be found there," the spokesperson said. Technicians from the ballistics department, according to him, then found two more rounds in the taped-off area.

The tragic incident happened on Jirkovská Street in Chomutov at about 3 AM on Saturday, May 27. It began with an argument between two Romani men on the street.

A non-Romani man then came out of a nearby building and, apparently because he was upset about the noise on the street, began to shoot at the Romani men. One of them was then pronounced dead at the scene.

The police arrested the shooter, who is suspected of aggravated homicide. Today his prosecution is meant to begin and a motion to remand him into custody is supposed to be filed.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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