Man charged with setting Bohumín apartment fire that left 11 dead given life sentence

The fire killed the attacker's wife, son, grandson, and his mother as well as two children invited to a birthday party taking place in the flat.


Written by ČTK Published on 17.09.2021 13:05:00 (updated on 17.09.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Ostrava, North Moravia, Sep 17 (CTK) - A man charged with starting a fire in a prefab housing estate in Bohumín that killed 11 people last year has accepted the state attorney's offer of a life prison sentence, Petr Kausta, a lawyer for the injured party told reporters during court proceedings today.

The 55-year-old defendant confessed to all acts in the indictment, including murder and endangering public safety, Kausta added. A court will confirm the plea bargain between the defendant and state attorney.

The proceedings at the Regional Court in Ostrava continue behind closed doors.

Some relatives of the victims of the arson in Bohumín, north Moravia, in August 2020 previously opposed a plea bargain. They claimed that the defendant should be brought to court and face a trial.

Only a few of those among the injured parties appeared in the court building today. The others were represented by their defense lawyers.

Kausta said his clients had estimated their financial demands at millions of crowns and considered only life sentence an acceptable punishment for the crime.

Jaromír Parobek, an attorney representing another group of injured parties, also said his clients demanded life imprisonment and that they disagreed with concluding the plea agreement.

Parobek also said he didn't anticipate that the victims would be compensated for financial demands for psychological and material damage due to the probable length of the sentence.

Eleven people, including three children, perished in the fire that broke out on the eleventh-floor flat of a prefab apartment building on the afternoon of August 8, 2020.

A family dispute was the apparent motive of the arson attack. The attacker could not cope with the fact that his wife had left him and moved to the flat where her son, his common-law wife, and their son were living.

The attacker poured petrol on the door of the flat and set it on fire. There were 15 people in the flat at the critical moment, attending a child's birthday party.

The fire killed the perpetrator's wife, son, grandson, and his mother as well as another two children invited to the party. Five individuals died after jumping out of the windows in an attempt to escape from the flames. Four people succeeded in escaping onto the balcony of the neighboring flat.

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