Saturday, 21 October 2017

Právo: Convicted murderer beats Czech prisons in smoking dispute

ČTK |
11 April 2016

Prague, April 9 (CTK) - A Prague court met the complaint by Albert Zirovnicky, a murderer in jail, on Friday when it decided that the Prison Service has to pay 200,000 crowns to him, a non-smoker, for infringing on his fundamental right to health by failing to observe the smoking ban in prisons, Pravo writes Saturday.
The Prison Service also has to cover the court expenses worth more than 20,000 crowns for Zirovnicky.
Zirovnicky, 47, has been serving the 16-year prison sentence he was given for murdering his acquaintance. He has spent 14 years in jail so far, the daily writes.
Originally, he claimed 10 million crowns in compensation for the violations of the smoking ban in prisons. Nonetheless, he looked satisfied, even though handcuffed, when he heard the court decision on Friday, the paper says.
The Prison Service's lawyer told Pravo that they will definitely appeal the verdict.
If the court of appeal supported Zirovnicky's claim that the Prison Service breached his fundamental rights, it may trigger off an avalanche of similar complaints, including mass ones lodged by groups of prison inmates, the daily writes.
Zirovnicky told the court that Czech prisons are non-smoking facilities under a law that took effect in 2005, but the ban has been violated in almost all prisons where he has stayed so far.
The situation was the worst in the Valdice prison, east Bohemia. Though he stayed in a non-smoking cell, several fellow inmates still smoked in it. In addition, cigarette smoke penetrated in it from other cells, Zirovnicky said.
Zirovnicky is known for filing numbers of lawsuits and complaints against ministries, offices, the police and the Prison Service, Pravo writes.
Last November, he told Pravo that various courts were currently dealing with about 100 his lawsuits.
($1=23.771 crowns)

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