Credit: FF UK

Police Respondents To Charles University Shooting In December Not Suspected of Any Wrongdoing

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None of the police officers involved in the response to the 21 December shooting at Charles University are suspected of any criminal wrongdoing, said Vit Hendrych, director of the General Inspectorate of Security Forces (GIBS), at yesterday’s meeting of the lower house security committee.

After examining the police response, he said, “GIBS concluded that none of the police officers or employees of the Czech Police are suspected of committing a crime. Therefore, it is not appropriate to initiate criminal proceedings or carry out an investigation into specific facts.”

14 people, including students and teachers, lost their lives in the shooting at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts (FF UK) in central Prague, and 25 people were wounded, some seriously. After the attack, the perpetrator, who police said was a student at the faculty, committed suicide.

GIBS recommended that the police conduct a thorough analysis of procedures and methodology to better prepare for similar cases in the future. The inspectorate will send the police its suggested methodological recommendations, and will also offer the services of impartial experts who can participate in the evaluation of police procedures, Hendrych said.

Hendrych disclosed the specific areas covered by the GIBS recommendations at a subsequent closed session of the committee yesterday.

Hendrych also said that in this and other cases, GIBS was troubled by leaks of information from members or employees of the security forces. In this case, he said, the leaks were not criminal, but were dealt with by the police’s internal checks. Hendrych appealed to all involved to realise the harmfulness of such actions. He said space was opening up for preventive or security measures to prevent leaks.

According to Hendrych’s earlier statements, GIBS evaluated 1,000 pages of documents or CCTV footage linked to the FF UK tragedy, totalling around 100 gigabytes.

Police could not have prevented the tragic December shooting, Hendrych said.

“The law was not broken on the criminal-legal level. We did find some areas where we identified an opportunity to streamline police operations for possible future incidents, or incidents that police have not encountered in the past,” he added.

According to the GIBS investigation, the police did the maximum possible, worked as efficiently as possible, and made logical decisions. “However, there is certainly a lot of room to learn from these incidents,” Hendrych noted. By reaching a conclusion, he said, GIBS has freed the hands of the police, who can now report on the matter as they see fit.

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