Fallout continues after murderers escape from Bory prison

Roman Cabrada and Rostislav Roztocil, photo: CTK

The fallout continues from the escape earlier this week of two convicted murderers from Pilsen's Bory prison. The prison's director has already resigned, but two cabinet ministers are now involved in a row over who bears responsibility for the escape.

Roman Cabrada and Rostislav Roztocil, photo: CTK
The two convicted murderers - 58-year-old Rostislav Roztocil and 29-year-old Roman Cabrada - made their daring escape on Tuesday morning. They managed to hide themselves in a pallet which was then driven out of Bory prison in a goods van. Police say the two men had at least two accomplices, one of whom hid the real pallet in a lift. Detectives are now trying to determine their identity, with speculation that at least one of them was an employee of the prison.

The escape has already cost the prison director his job, and some have called for the head of the prison service to resign. The case has also led to a row within the cabinet. Transport Minister Milan Simonovsky has said Justice Minister Pavel Nemec bears responsibility for the escape, something which Mr Nemec denies. However Mr Nemec's spokesman Petr Dimun has promised tighter security measures at the country's prisons.

"As far as controls at Bory prison are concerned, the Prison Service has introduced measures to change the security procedures which allowed this to happen. The measures will take the form of special, unannounced security checks as well as more frequent checks. That seems to be the only way at the moment of preventing such escapes. A second option, which is currently being discussed, is to buy special x-ray machines which would be used to screen all large packages leaving the prison."

The two escaped convicts were both involved in high profile murder cases. Rostislav Roztocil was sentenced in 1985 to 24 years in prison for the murder of an Egyptian student. Roman Cabrada was sentenced this year to 24 years for the murder of a German mayor and drug dealing.

Roztocil, who maintains his innocence, has escaped before, but was later recaptured. His sister has contacted the Czech media saying Roztocil is already abroad. She said he escaped in protest at the Czech judicial system.

This latest incident has highlighted continuing problems in the country's prisons, following a number of embarrassing escapes in recent years. Critics say it's high time the Czech prison system was completely overhauled to prevent such high profile escapes happening in future.