- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Tunisia Considers Transferring Criminal Proceedings of Czech Tourist Accused of Murder to Czech Republic
Tunisia is exploring the possibility of transferring criminal proceedings against a Czech tourist accused of murdering her husband to the Czech Republic, in accordance with an existing bilateral treaty. The Czech Justice Ministry has confirmed that Tunisian authorities have shown readiness to consider this option.
While the Czech ministry is actively seeking the transfer of the prosecution, it emphasizes that the decision regarding the further course of proceedings lies with the Tunisian authorities due to the location of the crime.
The accused, a 50-year-old woman from Ostrava, is facing charges of murdering her 60-year-old Czech husband during their vacation in Tunisia in July. The victim was discovered dead in Tunisia, and an autopsy revealed signs of strangulation on his neck. Tunisian police subsequently arrested the wife, and she was placed in custody.
The Czech Ministry of Justice is collaborating with the General State Prosecutor’s Office and the Foreign Ministry on this case. Justice Ministry spokesman Vladimir Repka stated, “Through our embassy in Tunis, we have communicated to the Tunisian side our interest in a speedy solution, especially with regard to the human rights aspect of the case, the difficult conditions of detention in the country, the cultural and language barrier, and the overall circumstances of the case.”
Repka also mentioned that negotiations regarding the possibility of repatriating the accused Czech citizen to the Czech Republic are ongoing. He clarified, “Currently, we have a very preliminary statement from the Tunisian side, which shows readiness to deal with the possibility of transferring criminal proceedings to the Czech Republic based on Article 48 of the bilateral treaty between the Czech Republic and Tunisia, which is also our priority.”
However, Repka cautioned that a final decision may take several months and will depend on the progress of the ongoing criminal proceedings in Tunisia.
The bilateral treaty on legal assistance, signed by representatives of Czechoslovakia and Tunisia in 1979 and in force since 1981, contains Article 48, titled “request to take over the prosecution.” This article allows one state to initiate prosecution of its citizens who have committed criminal acts in the territory of the other state, upon a request made through diplomatic channels.
In anticipation of the possible transfer of the case to the Czech Republic, North Moravian police have initiated criminal proceedings on suspicion of murder. This measure allows them to conduct an autopsy on the deceased man. Czech authorities are preparing for this scenario should Tunisia decide to refer the case to the Czech Republic for criminal proceedings.
Earlier reports from Tunisian sources indicated that the Czech woman had confessed to the crime, and Tunisian investigators are accusing her of premeditated murder, alleging that she planned the act before embarking on the holiday. Initially, the accused tourist claimed to have discovered her husband dead in their hotel room after returning from a pedicure.
Article by Prague Forum