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Life convict Kajínek to be pardoned by Zeman after 23 years

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Prague, May 11 (CTK) – A review of the main developments related to the case of Czech Jiri Kajinek, 56, who is serving a life sentence for a double contract murder and whom President Milos Zeman plans to grant pardon later this month, which he announced yeserday:

May 30, 1993 – Jiri Kajinek, being on the run after escaping from prison (where he served a sentence for an armed robbery of police officers), shoots a businessman and his bodyguard dead in Plzen, west Bohemia, while another bodyguard survived as the only of the planned three victims. The murder was reportedly ordered by another businessman.

February 8, 1994 – The police rapid intervention unit catch Kajinek in Prague.

September 29, 1995 – Kajinek is charged with double murder.

June 23, 1998 – The Plzen Regional Court finds Kajinek guilty of double contract murder and an attempted murder and sentences him to life. Kajinek has never pleaded guilty. He said his trial was fabricated by the police and the court was biased.

February, 23, 1999 – The High Court in Prague upholds Kajinek’s sentence.

October 29, 2000 – Kajinek escapes from the tough-security Mirov prison, north Moravia. The police caught him in Prague on December 8, 2000.

February 2, 2001 – Deputy PM Pavel Rychetsky says, referring to Kajinek’s case, that he filed a complaint about a breach of law with the Supreme Court (NS). The NS dismissed the complaint.

October 10, 2001 – Justice Minister Jaroslav Bures lodges a constitutional complaint. The Constitutional Court (US) did not deal with it.

September 2002 – Kajinek addresses an application for presidential pardon to President Vaclav Havel. Justice Minister Rychetsky did not recommend that pardon be granted.

October 2003 – Kajinek’s defence lawyer turns to the Ombudsman’s Office over discrepancies in the case. The ombudsman said he would not review the court verdict.

January 26, 2004 – A new witness emerges, a former inmate of the Plzen-Bory prison, telling Nova TV that he saw the fatal shooting not far from the prison in 1993. The witness described the event differently than courts in their verdicts. Kajinek applied for reopening his trial.

April 8, 2004 – The Interior Minister’s Inspection once again does not prove that police were involved in the contract killing.

September 23, 2004 – The Plzen Regional Court turns down Kajinek’s request for the trial’s reopening.

February 21, 2005 – The High Court in Prague cancels the Plzen court verdict and returns the case for a new discussion to Plzen.

March 8, 2006 – The Plzen Regional Court again turns down the request of trial’s reopening.

June 30, 2006 – Kajinek’s request for the trial’s reopening is also rejected by the High Court, and in October 2007 also by the Constitutional Court.

August 3, 2006 – Justice Minister Pavel Nemec files a complaint over a suspected breach of law in Kajinek’s case. The NS rejected the complaint.

August 4, 2010 – “Kajinek”, a new long feature film based on Jiri Kajinek’s story, appears in Czech cinemas.

March 28, 2011 – The Senate of the Plzen Regional Court turns down Kajinek’s advocate’s request for the trial’s reopening. The decision was eventually upheld by the High Court in Prague and the Constitutional Court.

April 15, 2013 – Justice Minister Pavel Blazek refuses to lodge a complaint over a breach of law at Kajinek’s request.

February 5, 2015 – A district court in Sumperk, north Moravia, turns down Kajinek’s request for being transferred from the toughest-security prison to one with a softer security regime.

February 8, 2015 – President Milos Zeman says Kajinek should gain a new chance to defend himself in court but his case should be handled by other court than the Plzen one.

March 23, 2015 – The Olomouc Regional Court turns down Kajinek’s complaint against the Sumperk Court verdict that refused to transfer him to a softer-security prison.

July 23, 2015 – The Plzen Regional Court turns down Kajinek’s request for his trial to be reopened. In September, the High Court in Prague turned down his complaint against the Plzen Court’s verdict.

August 1, 2016 – The Constitutional Court (US) rejects a complaint by Kajinek who sought his trial’s reopening. He submitted an expert opinion indicating the chance of his reintegration in society, if released from prison. The US called his complaint unsubstantiated.

April 6, 2017 – President Milos Zeman says he is seriously considering granting pardon to Kajinek. He said Kajinek has been staying in prison for long and doubts exist about his guilt.

May 11, 2017 – President Zeman announces that he will grant pardon to Kajinek after his return from a week-long visit to China later this month.


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