President Klaus suspends jail sentence for arson victim

23. 4. 2009 18:50
Pavel Kudrik is to be released from prison
Father of the badly burnt child Pavel Kudrik
Father of the badly burnt child Pavel Kudrik | Foto: Tomáš Netočný

Prague - Czech president Václav Klaus suspended Thursday the jail sentence of Pavel Kudrik, whose baby daughter is in a critical condition after last week's arson attack against the family's house in the north Moravian village of Vítkov.

Kudrik, who also sustained serious injuries in the fire, was arrested on Monday after two days in an Opava hospital and transported to a prison, where he was to serve a one-year sentence for theft.

„I am so happy," said Kudrik's partner in a phone interview.

Kudrik had been sentenced long before the attack, but failed to report to jail in December. The police only traced the man while investigating the suspected arson attack against his family.

The house in which Pavel Kudrik lived with his partner, four children and other relatives was set on fire on March 18 by unknown arsonists. Kudrik's two-year-old daughter sustained potentially deadly burns; Kudrik and his partner suffered serious injuries.

Police have so far not found the perpetrators, but have found evidence of a planned attack with a bottle bomb. Police say the motive remains unclear, but hate crime can't be ruled out.

When and if Kudrik is to serve his jail sentence is not clear at the moment. "It will be up to the president to decide whether he grants pardon to Kudrik or not.  But that will happen only after the case is thoroughly studied," president's spokesperson Radim Ochvat told Aktuálně.cz.

President Klaus sharply condemned the Vítkov attack. "I am appalled by the brutal abominable act. What kind of people want to kill a child?" said Klaus.


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