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A Czech citizen is being tried for looting in Ukraine

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul4,2024

Czech citizen on trial for looting in Ukraine

In the Czech Republic, 27-year-old Filip Siman, accused of serving in a foreign army and looting, appeared before the Senate of the Prague City Court on Wednesday, Novinky reported.

According to the indictment, about three weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Siman went to Kyiv, where he joined the volunteer armed battalion “Carpathian Sich”, subordinate to the Ukrainian army. There he underwent basic training, received weapons, and, together with a group of 11 other volunteers whom he commanded, went to Irpin and Bucha, where they were supposed to carry out patrols. However, according to the case materials, Siman robbed dead soldiers and civilians.

In this way, he stole, for example, special forces berets, jewelry, money, sunglasses, weapons, investment bars made of precious metals and a breathing mask from the An-225 Mriya, the former largest aircraft that was destroyed by Russian occupiers in an airstrike. He also filmed his looting on his phone. About three weeks after arriving in Ukraine, he was detained on suspicion of looting. After his release, he returned to the Czech Republic, keeping the aforementioned items.

Thus, according to the prosecutor, he committed the crime of serving in foreign armed forces and the crime of looting in a military area, for which he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Siman admitted to looting last year to journalists from the Seznam newspaper Zprávy. He said in court Wednesday that he was assured the conversation was off the record. He also allegedly lied during the interview. "I wanted to look better, more interesting. That's why I lied in that interview,” – he said in court.

"It is not true that I used my position to enrich myself", – he continued. Siman told the court that the main motivation for traveling to Ukraine was his family, which is partly from Ukraine. “Even though I am Czech, I am also Ukrainian, and I considered it my duty to fight for my country,” – Siman told the court.

He admitted that he did not ask the president for permission to serve in a foreign army.

Prepared by: Nina Petrovich

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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