Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mother gets 25 years for killing five newborns

The Circuit Court in Lublin, eastern Poland, has sentenced Jolanta K. to 25 years imprisonment for killing her five newborn children.

Her husband was declared not guilty of the crime that shocked Poland.

Reasons for the judgment were not made public for the sake of the other children of Jolanta K. Both the prosecution and defence may now appeal.

The gruesome murders were brought to light after Andrzej K., the defendant's husband, was making sauerkraut and ordered his sons to get him a barrel to put it in. While the boys were moving the barrel, the lid fell off revealing two plastic bags with the remains of the babies inside.

The investigation shed more light on the details of the murders, which happened between the years 1992-1998, when the couple was living in Lublin, eastern Poland.

Jolanta K. killed four of her sons and one daughter claiming she was forced to do so by her husband who abused her. Each time she gave birth at home in a bathtub she then drowned the baby, and put the body in the freezer.

When a couple of years later the family moved to Czerniejow, near Lublin, the woman moved the bodies into a barrel.

Feminist organizations were appalled at the strict sentence and sent a letter of protest to the minister of justice signed by over 20 organizations and individuals demanding the sentence be mitigated to five years imprisonment and that the husband be declared the main perpetrator. They claim, quoting one of the experts at the trial, that Andrzej K. must have known about the pregnancies and therefore the murders.