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MfD: Thousand Czechs stay in prison abroad, mostly Germany

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Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) – About one thousand Czechs have been serving prison sentences abroad, mainly in the neighbouring Germany and Austria, and most often they were punished for drug crimes and theft, daily Mlada fronta Dnes wrote on Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry registered 937 Czech nationals who were prison inmates abroad at the end of 2016, however, the number is higher since some imprisoned Czechs are not in contact with Czech authorities.

“Czech diplomatic offices abroad may not be always fully informed about all arrested and imprisoned Czech citizens,” the ministry’s spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova told MfD.

“We receive the information about some (Czech) convicts only if they apply for serving their sentence in their home country,” Justice Ministry spokesman Daniel Skvaril said.

According to the Foreign Ministry data, most Czech citizens are kept in prison in Germany (268), Austria (180), Britain (98), Italy (95), the United States (85), Spain (62) and Slovakia (33).

The ministry registers only one person sentenced to life abroad.

MfD writes about two cases of life sentences imposed on Czechs. In 2006, a court in Denver, Colorado, sentenced to life Martin Novotny who stabbed to death his girlfriend because she wanted to leave him. In 2007, a Czech gay car mechanic raped a 14-year-old schoolgirl and stabbed her to death in Germany and he was sentenced to life.

The most recently, Czech media have focused on a case of two young Czechs, Marketa Vselichova and Miroslav Farkas, who face tens of years in a Turkish prison for suspected terrorism. They were arrested at the Turkish-Iraqi border three weeks ago due to their alleged Kurdish militia membership, the paper writes.

MfD presents several other cases of people who were sentenced to prison abroad earlier this year.

In September, a Czech man was sentenced to 14 months in prison for marihuana dealing in the British Isle of Man.

In August, an Austrian court sentenced a Czech citizen to two years behind bars for smuggling refugees.

In July, a U.S. court sent a Czech man to 12 years in prison for possession of child porn.

In June, a German court imposed a five-year sentence on a Czech who smuggled marihuana.

In April, a Czech man was punished with six years in jail for stealing cars, also in Germany.

On the other hand, 1670 foreigners stayed in Czech prisons at the end of last year. Nationals of 75 foreign countries were imprisoned in the Czech Republic, mostly from Slovakia (494), Vietnam (440), Ukraine (131), Romania (80), Bulgaria (77), Poland (54), Russia (36) and Nigeria (25).

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