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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Police used skull as an ornament

Czech cops who used a suspected murder victim's skull as an ornament are being sued by the dead man's relatives.

The man's skeleton was found three years ago but the murder investigation was closed because it was not possible to find out how the man had died.

But the body remained unidentified until recently when a new computer program allowed police to identify the body had belonged to missing Francis Vandas by taking a scan of the skull.

But after it was cleaned the skull ended up being used as a bookend - with a police cap on the top - by officers at Volary, in the Czech Republic.

They even took pictures of the skull, which are now the subject of a legal case by the man's family, and posted them on a social networking site.

Relative Ruzena Breznanova, 59, said: "When I turned up to collect the remains I saw the skull sitting on a shelf next to a beer mug with a police cap on it.

"It was shocking. The chief of homicide led me into his office, took a cap off this skull and handed it to me saying here's your brother-in-law. I was really appalled."

When the woman's complaint ended up in local newspapers readers pointed out that the snaps had even been posted on a social media site.

Police spokesman Radek Sandorova said: "We are carrying out a full investigation and if it turns out to be true then we will take disciplinary action against the officer concerned.

"I want an explanation. No one deserves to have their head used like this after death, having no respect?"

Homicide chief Thomas Tesarka has refused to comment.

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