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Plea bargain withdrawn in Luknárová case
6 Aug 2013 Flash News
The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Bratislava withdrew its proposal for a plea bargain between the defendant, identified as Juraj H., and the prosecutor, in the case of Lucia Luknárová, a young girl who was tortured to death. Thus, the District Court Bratislava II will not decide on the custody of the defendant on August 7, as originally planned.
“Based on the withdrawal of the proposal of the Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office, the District Court Bratislava II has cancelled the date of the defendant’s hearing about further custody, slated for August 7,” regional court spokesperson Pavol Adamčiak informed the TASR newswire on Tuesday, August 6. “The defendant remains in custody and the case has returned to the phase of a preparatory proceeding,” he added.
“Due to the serious character and high latency of the criminality made on women and children, which is one of the priorities of General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár, he issued an order to scrutinise the file of Juraj H. in connection with the lawfulness of the plea bargain concluded,” Jana Tökölyová, spokesperson of the GPO, told TASR. “A prosecutor of the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO), after having studied the investigation file, issued an order to withdraw the approval for a plea bargain from the district court. An instruction to complete the process of collecting evidence was issued, focused on stabilising the legal qualification of the crime and on studying the adequacy of the agreed [upon] sentence,” she said.
On August 7, the district court was to assess the further custody of Juraj H., accused of having tortured to death Luknárová, aged 3, who was his step-daughter. After her death, he and his partner, Lucia’s mother, hid her body and continued to receive child benefits as if Lucia were still alive. Even though Luknárová never started attending school, no one noticed that she was missing. After three years, the crime was uncovered by chance, when the owner of the flat where the family lived sued them for illegal use of his property. The dead body of Luknárová was found in a sofa. Juraj faces a sentence of five to 12 years, while Luknárová’s mother faces three to five years. The mother was allegedly threatened and beaten by Juraj H.
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