No culprit in big Czech robbery as court scraps verdict on Saleta

published:

updated:
06.03.2014 16:54

Prague - The Czech "robbery of the century," in which 154 million crowns were stolen from the G4S security agency in 2002, remains unpunished now that the appeals court scrapped the conviction of the last suspect and sent the case back to a lower-level court for reappraisal today.

foto

Pražský vrchní soud zrušil 6. března odsuzující rozsudek nad posledním obviněným v kauze takzvaná loupeže století z roku 2002 Antonínem Saletou (vpravo na snímku z 21. října 2013) a vrátil věc k novému projednání. Prvoinstanční soud přitom dispečera oloupené agentury G4S potrestal devíti lety vězení a povinností uhradit uloupených 154 milionů korun. ČTK ČTK

The lower-level court previously imposed a nine-year jail sentence on G4S´s employee Antonin Saleta and ordered him to repay the stolen sum.

Before, the prosecution also suspected members of the infamous Berdych gang of assisting in the robbery, but the court acquitted them over a lack of evidence.

Saleta, former soldier and policeman, pleads not guilty.

"I´ve been sentenced to nine years for something I did not commit and with which I have nothing to do," he repeated before the court today.

High Court judge Viktor Mach complied with Saleta´s appeal, cancelled the convicting verdict and sent a clear message to the subordinate Prague City Court that it should re-assess the case based on the previous acquitting verdicts for the Berdych gang members.

This means the City Court has to acquit Saleta unless it uncovers new cogent evidence proving his guilt.

The "robbery of the century" occurred in Prague where unknown men, disguised as police, took the money from a car belonging to G4S. The money has not been found so far.

Saleta is suspected of having provided information about G4S and the relevant car´s security system to the main perpetrators, thus enabling them to commit the crime.

Mach said the City Court had not explained why, in its opinion, the information was provided to the robbers by no one else but Saleta.

The lower-level court found Saleta guilty also based on the fact that he became very rich shortly after the incident without being able to explain his property´s origin satisfactorily.

Mach asked whether the police should also check other G4S managers who became well-off and started travelling around the world at the time.

Saleta´s defence lawyer said it is impossible to convict one based on his changing property situation. If so, any Czech citizen could be charged with the robbery of the century, the lawyer said.

The police questioned Saleta in 2005 for the first time, without filing charges against him. Saleta then moved to Cuba and then to Venezuela. The police prosecuted him as a fugitive and they escorted him back to the Czech Republic only last summer.

Written by:
www.ctk.cz

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