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Czech Constitutional Court defends Ukrainian woman

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Brno, March 31 (CTK) – The Czech Constitutional Court (US) ruled yesterday in favour of a Ukrainian woman punished with a suspended sentence over having stayed in the Czech Republic although she was expelled, arguing that she did not have a defence lawyer.
The Prague 7 district court did not inform her sufficiently on the ways with which she could defend herself and on the consequences of giving up the right to protest against the court order, the US said.
Foreigners are among vulnerable groups. The judiciary must be sure that foreigners understand the legal consequences of their conduct, it added.
The Ukrainian had the right to consult a lawyer and she also could have an ex officio defence counsel assigned to her. The court failed to inform her sufficiently, the US judges said.
The woman’s vulnerability was intensified by her having been detained by the police.
The district court judge told her that if she gave up her right to protest against the court order, she would be released. Or else, she would be taken into custody.
The woman received a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
The woman is still in the Czech Republic where she has asked for asylum.

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