For the death of each child individually, he was given 27 years. A five-member court panel headed by Judge Iva Gradiška Lovreček handed down the verdict in one day, reports Index.hr.
The trial was closed to the public. Judge Iva Gradiški Lovreček made the decision not to hold Harald Kopitz trial in public with the consent of the accused, his defense, and the prosecution in order to protect the dignity of the deceased children and their mother. Harald Kopitz had previously been brought to court from prison with handcuffs on, and the courtroom was vacated before pleading guilty.
Kopitz put 30 tablets in cocoa
The Prosecutor’s Office charged Kopitz with three counts of aggravated murder, punishable by up to 50 years in prison. The verdict was announced earlier on Friday.
It was first believed that Kopitz suffocated the children, but it was later determined that he first stunned the children with pills and then suffocated them. He first showered the children and then put 30 tablets of Diazepam in warm cocoa, which the children drank.
The media wrote that Kopitz lived and worked in Zagreb, where he had his own companies, and that he worked for several large companies as a financial consultant and negotiator. The mother of the murdered children worked in a hotel in Dubrovnik, and the children were with their father over the weekend.
An expert examination conducted at the Hospital for Persons Deprived of Liberty established that Kopitz was sane and therefore accountable at the time of the crime.
Judge: The children trusted you endlessly
“You took advantage of the children’s trust in you, as a father, although aware that the children are helpless due to their low chronological age and completely dependent on your care and needs, you gave the children a pre-prepared cocoa drink, in which you dissolved at least 30 Diazepam tablets. Aware that this amount of tablets is fatal for children. The children drank the drink, believing you as a father, unaware of the threat to health and life. As a result, the children died of acute poisoning,” said the judge in a statement.
“These acts were committed in an insidious manner towards the victims who are particularly vulnerable,” the judge added.
“At that time you were the only guarantor of their lives and they trusted you endlessly as a father. And you took three little people at the beginning of their lives and denied them a future. You took away their mother’s greatest value, and the consequences are felt by the whole of this community”, the judge said during the sentencing.
“Being left without money could not be a reason to take three young lives,” she said. She also mentioned that Kopitz’s farewell message, which he left on the table with an extremely expensive bottle of champagne, proves that material values were more important to him than the lives of children.
“As a mother and a judge, it is incomprehensible to me that you deprived your children of life at a time when you were no longer living because you were left without the material goods to which you were accustomed,” she added.
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