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Man suspected of son’s euthanasia formally sentenced but freed

The complex case of a father was accused of euthanasia found its end.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

The District Court in Prešov, on October 11, sentenced Jozef Andrej for the crime of negligent homicide to eight months and 22 days in prison. As the man accused of euthanizing his son has already served exactly this sentence, he will not end up behind bars.

Originally, he was charged with especially grave premeditated murder but the charge has been legally re-qualified. On September 26, 2015, Jozef Andrej disconnected the cannula that connected his son with artificial breathing support – allegedly to be able to position him, the Sme daily wrote on October 11.

According to his lawyer, the son was already dying on the day of his death, as his lungs showed no spontaneous activity in a lung ventilation report. He says that Dominik would have died even if his father had not disconnected the cannula. As well, the intention to kill his son was not proven.

The father has already served the sentence, as he was investigated in a pre-trial custody that he left on June 17, 2016, the SITA newswire wrote. The sentence represents the minimum limit as in similar cases, which usually oscillates between two and five years. The father, however, took model care of his son for years, and has never been sentenced so far. The judge admitted that had it not been for the custody, the sentence may have even been conditional; but as things stand, there is no need for a further conditional sentence, as the defendant already served the whole prison sentence. The damage compensation for the bereft wife, the mother of Dominik, has not been set yet, as the amount of damage was not been calculated before the trial ended.

The verdict is not effective yet, as neither side has ruled out possible appeal, although the father did not hide he was satisfied, SITA wrote.

Lawyer Daniel Lipšic said it could still be investigated whether there was any connection at all between the father’s act and the death, as the son was dying anyway. Representative of the prosecution, Marek Švagerko, finds the verdict interesting and in the middle ground between the opinion of the prosecutor’s office and the defence. Both sides have still 13 days to appeal the verdict. 

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