Minister slams judge in Kuřim abuse case
Few cases have been more shocking or sickening than the Kuřim child abuse case which went to trial last week. Since it began new headlines and explicit details have followed daily, describing how Ondřej and Jakub Mauer were subjected to psychological terror and physical abuse by a number of adults, including their own mother. The sensitive nature of the case has led some, including government Minister Cyril Svoboda to criticise the presiding judge in the case for choosing to leave proceedings open.
The details aren’t easy to bear – one reason why even the state prosecutor asked for the trial to be behind closed doors. The view is that proceedings allowing in the media would further victimise the Mauer boys, something echoed by Minister Cyril Svoboda at the weekend. In an Op-Ed piece in Lidové noviny he lashed out at Judge Pavel Goth, accusing him of broadening his own name-recognition at the expense of the victims and of turning the trial into a “reality show”. Minister Cyril Svoboda:
But others disagree open doors in this case are a bad thing: Zuzana Baudyšová heads the Our Child Foundation targeting child abuse:
“The Czech Republic has never seen such a brutal and complex case, atypical in one thing: the role played by the public. A neighbour was the one who accidentally discovered Ondřej was being held under the stairs and if it hadn’t been for him those boys would still be mistreated now. Some are concerned that they could suffer from what they see in the papers or media but they have already endured such brutal treatment that this is inconsequential by comparison: both are now in proper care and child-care workers are restricting their access to the media. On the whole, I am convinced the public needs to know and the problem of child abuse needs to be transparent. People need to be made aware just how serious the problem is and what they should do when they suspect child abuse in similar situations.”
Meanwhile, the judge in the Kuřim case, Pavel Goth, has not commented Saturday’s criticism; there is a possibility that the court, however, will issue a statement.