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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Warsaw. The accident with Socrates. The end of the trial of Krystian O. Concluding speeches

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The trial of Krystian O. accused of fatally hitting a man at a pedestrian crossing at Sokratesa Street in Warsaw has ended. The prosecutor and the representative of the deceased’s family want O. to answer for the murder and are demanding a sentence of 15 years in prison. On the other hand, the defense lawyers request a change in the classification of the act into an “accident with a fatal result”.

On Friday, in the District Court in Warsaw, the last hearing was held in the case of Krystian O., who in October 2019 fatally hit a man walking with his wife and a child in a pram at one of the pedestrian crossings at Sokratesa Street. Initially, Krystian O. was charged with causing a fatal accident and exposing pedestrians on the crossing to the risk of loss of life or serious damage to health (he could be imprisoned for a maximum of eight years). But the charges were changed. According to experts, the driver, in a place with a speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour, had 136 km / h on the dashboard. The prosecutor’s office ultimately charged him with murder with a possible intention.

READ ALSO: When you agree to someone else’s death, you could be convicted of manslaughter.

During the session, judge Marzena Tomczyk-Zięba, the presiding judge, stated that the offense charged against the accused may nevertheless be classified under Article 177, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code, i.e. causing a fatal accident, punishable by up to eight years’ imprisonment. – Of course, this is not a decision, but the court takes this possibility into account. This was the original legal qualification of the offense charged against the accused. Then she changed. For safety reasons, the court made such a decision – said judge Tomczyk-Zięba.

“The accused was aware that all maneuvers would be ineffective”

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During the closing speeches, the prosecutor’s office, as a public prosecutor, upheld the charge of murder at a later stage of the proceedings with an optional intention and asked for a penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment. The same penalty was also requested by the plenipotentiaries of the victim’s family.

– Accepting the classification of an act under Article 177 of the Criminal Code would mean that, in the subjective assessment of this crime, we would recognize that the accused did not want to commit the crime, nor did he predict that he would commit it – said Marta Zakrzewska during the closing speech. – Undoubtedly, in this case we have premises to believe that the accused acted with the intention of possibly causing the crime of murder. Although he did not want to commit it, he was aware that the road situation he was in, which he led to, would end in the death of the person. He agreed to it and anticipated that such a possibility existed – said the lawyer.

– The road situation I am talking about resulted from several aspects. First, the speed and the place it was moving, and the driving style. The speed of 136 kilometers per hour, which he developed in the city, where there were many other road users, proved that the perpetrator must have been aware of the tragic consequences such a drive could lead to – assessed Zakrzewska.

She also stated that the accused, deciding to drive the car “at such dizzying speed”, was aware that any defensive maneuvers in the event of an emergency would not be effective. – They also could not be effective due to the condition of the vehicle. We have to recognize that (Krystian O. – ed.) Was fully aware that the condition of the vehicle it led to is dangerous. With full deliberation, by making changes to this vehicle, he deprived this vehicle of important safety elements – said lawyer Zakrzewska.

She also argued that O., while walking along Sokratesa Street, had crossed several well-marked pedestrian crossings. – It is obvious that with such a dizzying speed as he reached before the pedestrian crossing at Socrates 9, he had to develop this speed also during the previous crossings. With full premeditation and awareness, he overcame these crossings at a speed well above the allowable speed, thus also risking the lives of other full-fledged road users – stated lawyer Zakrzewska.

She also added that the evidence does not show that the pedestrians saw Krystian O.’s car while climbing the “zebra”.

The defense of the accused wants the act to be reclassified

Krystian O.’s defense lawyers, who asked for the act to be reclassified as an unintentional fatal accident, emphasized that there were no grounds to accuse him of murder with a possible intention. – There was no red light for O., he did not continue driving at high speed in the event of noticing the threat of hitting a pedestrian and finally took a defensive braking maneuver, which absolutely excludes qualification from Article 148 of the Criminal Code – said Tomasz Ode during the closing speech.

The attorney also appealed to the high-profile fatal hit case 19-year-old woman by city bus in Katowicewhich happened at the end of July this year. In that case, the driver was charged with homicide. – Assuming that the scenario presented by the police and the prosecutor’s office in the Katowice case is true, we are dealing with a situation of complete disregard by the driver of the possibility of obtaining a death result. There, a possible intention, and who knows if not a directional one, is absolutely justified, but not in this case. The speed alone does not mean that O.’s car or the bus driving in Katowice can be considered a murder weapon, argued Ode.

He also found that nothing exempted the victim from being especially careful when crossing the pedestrian crossing. – During the crossing, and not during the entrance, where this particular caution should also be exercised – said the defender of the accused. – There was a two-lane road. Going beyond the outline of the silver Renault (a car that was slowed down to let pedestrians pass – ed.), The injured party had to expect that with the principle of limited trust, something from the other side might come. What’s more, he must have heard it, because everyone could hear the roar of the engine – added the lawyer.

The accused expressed remorse

During the last hearing, the accused himself once again expressed his remorse. He expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased. – I can’t explain what happened then. I regret it very much. If I could turn back time, do anything, I would. Believe me or not, for the last two years, when I am in custody, every evening I pray for your son, husband and father – Krystian O.

Due to “the complexity of the case” and the need for a longer deliberation over the sentence, judge Marzena Tomczyk-Zięba postponed the sentence until 22 November.

Krystian O.’s car should not be allowed for traffic

Krystian O. bought an orange BMW a year before the accident. The car was supposed to be used for “weekend trips” and to help him relax. – I bought it to have it, to care for it. To break away after a whole week of work, to rest with him, taking care of him – he said during the first hearing in March this year. He assured: technical tests bmw passed without problems. I did not know about the changes.

Investigators have an opinion in the field of automotive technology, in which the specialist stated that the car after the modifications “was in a technical condition that did not allow for road approval”. According to the expert, the BMW had modified brake, steering and suspension systems. The ABS sensor was removed in it. The car was also adapted to right-hand traffic, not provided for by the manufacturer.

Main photo source: TVN24

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