Court confirms sentences to ex-policemen who attacked Romanies

Hradec Kralove, 9. 5. 2005, 13:45 (CTK)

The regional court in Hradec Kralove today confirmed suspended sentences for former policemen Marek Vrastil and Karel Berousek who attacked a family of Romanies in 2003. The court confirmed a district court's verdict which imposed a 20-month suspended sentence with a four-year probation on Vrastil and a one-year suspended sentence with a three-year probation on Berousek.

Vrastil and Berousek denied their guilt and did not comment on the verdict.

According to the court, the former policemen broke into the flat of the Romany Danis family during a birthday party in Popovice, east Bohemia, in May 2003 and attacked several of the guests.

Jan Kratochvil from the Human Rights League, which defended the Danises, said he does not agree with the verdict. Kratochvil said he believes that it could have been proved that the attack was racially motivated. This was evident from the way the perpetrators verbally abused the Romanies, he added. The court nevertheless declared that this cannot be proved due to lack of evidence.