Man who protected his property faces attempted murder charges

In Law on November 10, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , , ,



Fifteen years in prison. This is what may happen to you in the Czech Republic if you try to protect your humble property with a firearm. Mr. Karel Basta from the town of Ivancice near Brno is charged with attempted murder … for shooting at burglars in his scrap yard, the Brnensky denik daily writes.

According to the prosecuting DA, “the defendant took his rifle and shot twice at a vehicle in which [a man and a woman] were sitting, attempting to drive away. The man was shot in the thigh, and the woman was wounded in the face, which subsequently resulted in her losing one eye”.

As usual, both the Czech Penal Code and the Rules of Criminal Procedure fail to acknowledge one thing: the two had entered the man’s premises with the intention to steal his property. Basta had experienced three previous burglaries.

Basta maintains he wanted to shoot at rear wheels and that the injuries to the occupants of the vehicle were an accident. On the other hand, the DA argues that the injured woman was “calling for help”, which Basta ignored.

It is a huge disadvantage for Czechs who want to defend themselves and their property that the Czech legal system does not acknowledge the Castle Doctrine principle.

Nope, the principle that the Czech police usually stick to is “let them get away and we will find them. MAYBE”. Czech victims of burglaries often hear shocking statements from the police who come to investigate the breaking and entering: “We will document the crime, but let me tell you, there is almost no chance for us to find those who did it”.

This case (and several previous ones) clearly prove that people who grab their guns to protect their property are frustrated with the way their previous burglaries had been handled…

The injured woman testified that she didn’t even want to enter the premises. She said she had been brought to the scrap year by the man who was originally supposed to give her a ride home. Why she remained there without calling the police was not explained.

She was responsible for her actions and she will have to live with the consequences. But Karel Basta should not. If he is sent to jail, all law-abiding citizens will get the feeling that they are not protected, while the bad guys are: by short sentences and stupid court rulings like this one…


3 Responses to “Man who protected his property faces attempted murder charges”

  1. Here in USA we have laws concerning this property defense. They are different in each state. But basically unless your life is in immediate danger, you will still be charged with manslaughter. For instance, if there is a criminal in your house or business with a weapon, you can probably shoot at them. But you can’t chase the criminal outside and shoot at him in the street, etc… This seems to be the case here, as the criminals were fleeing and his life was not in immediate danger. So Czech laws are probably similar.

  2. Aha! So THAT is the difference… either way, 1) manslaughter is “better” than second-degree murder if you kill the burglar, and 2) YOU HAVE JURIES and there is a HUGE possibility that the men and women of the jury will imagine themselves in the defendant’s shoes, they will take evidence into consideration… and they will find him NOT GUILTY. Mr. Basta does not have this, well, luxury, of having 12 ordinary citizens decide…

  3. Good point Petr. But it is quite expen$ive to have a trial. And even if acquitted, a citizen will probably loose much more money defending him/herself that what was stolen in the crime! How’s that for irony…?

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