LADISLAV Ščurko, a former ice hockey player who was found guilty of murdering referee Marek Liptaj, will spend five years in a medium security prison, one year less than was originally proposed. The Košice Regional Court threw out the original verdict. Ščurko was also ordered to undergo protective outpatient psychiatric treatment.
The main reason for the lower sentence was his reduced level of sanity at the time he committed the murder. The verdict is valid, the court’s spokesperson, Marcela Gálová, informed the SITA newswire, as reported on September 8.
The court reportedly also took into consideration the guarantees of the town of Gelnica and the ice hockey clubs that Ščurko will change his behaviour.
“It is, however, indisputable that there is enough evidence that he committed the murder,” the court said, as quoted by the Sme daily. It referred to the testimonies of witnesses with whom Ščurko spoke shortly after he murdered Liptaj.
The verdict was issued in Ščurko’s absence, with his agreement.
According to the prosecutor, Ščurko murdered Liptaj on January 5, 2008 at a rest stop near the state road from Košice to Prešov. He stabbed him with a knife at least 19 times. Liptaj’s remains were found in December 2008 between the villages of Huncovce and Veľká Lomnica, in Prešov Region. Ščurko originally pleaded guilty, but in 2010 during the proceeding he declared his innocence, claiming he had not committed the crime, SITA wrote.
The original verdict issued in 2012 granted him an eight-year prison sentence. Ščurko, however, appealed. The Košice I District Court sentenced him to six years in prison last October, Sme wrote.
Source: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Sep 2014 at 14:00