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Czech youths face up to 20 years in prison for setting homeless man on fire

Prague, 21.6.2011 15:12, (ROMEA)

The Prague Municipal Court has begun addressing last year's case of three young men who set a homeless man on fire in the Bohdalecký Forest in Prague 10. They are also expected to plead guilty to committing an attack on another person. All three confessed after the crime was committed.

Two of the young men charged now face up to 20 years in prison for murder. The third was a juvenile at the time the crime was committed and can therefore receive a maximum sentence of only 10 years. A fourth aggressor was under 15 at the time of crime and cannot therefore be prosecuted.

Police officers say the youths got into a dispute with three homeless men sheltering in a shed in the woods and attacked them first verbally and then physically. One homeless man managed to flee, while another lost consciousness not far from the shed after being struck in the head with a stick. The third homeless man burned to death in the shed, which police say the youths set on fire.

The vice squad, which also investigates offenses committed by children, was put in charge of the case because of the suspects' ages. In the case of the minor who was too young to be charged with a felony, Alena Kolářová, head of the vice division, said earlier that police filed a motion with child welfare authorities to "take the appropriate educative measures." Kolářová said all of the suspects confessed to the crime.

Gwendolyn Albert, Radka Steklá, ras, iDNES.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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