Youth blaze killer trial set to start in February

Tartu County Court house.
Tartu County Court house. Source: Postimees/Scanpi

The trial of a man accused of killing a youth after setting fire to the house he was staying in has been set for late February.

The date was set by Tartu County Court on Friday, for the trial of Eduard Kask, 22, who is charged with killing a 16-year-old, as well as public order breaches, abuse charges, theft, and death and injury threats made on a police officer.

Kask allegedly killed the youth after setting fire to the house he was staying in, in Tartu County, in late June, and is, according to BNS, charged with manslaughter.

The first hearing of the trial is to take place on February 26 2020, with subsequent hearings to be held in March and through to April 16 when judgement is due, Kauri Sinkevicius, representative of the South District Prosecutor's Office, told BNS.

Kask is charged with setting fire to the victim's residence at Kukitaja village in Tartu rural municipality in the early hours of June 30, which led to the victim's death. Kask is charged with manslaughter, with both the torturous method of the murder as well as his danger to the public, being taken into account. The victim and Kask knew each other, and a dispute had arisen over money, BNS reports.

Maarja-Liisa Kõiv, deputy prosecutor at the South District Prosecutor's Office, said that it can be concluded from the charges that the accused does not care about the rules of society and is indifferent to both property and human life.

"Sadly, it is not possible for us to ask the 16-year-old young man what exactly led to such a tragic event, or to bring him back in any way. However, our objective was to determine the events that preceded the murder. Based on the results of the investigation, we can say that this kind of violence and indifference to other people's property and health was strongly rooted in the behavior of the accused," Koiv said, according to BNS.

Kask's prior record

Rain Vosman, head of the service for the investigation of organized and serious crimes at the South Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board, said his organization had noted a litany of prior crimes Kask had committed, including assaulting the same victim a week prior to the fatal fire.

Other incidents included assaulting a 61-year-old male in central Tartu in February and threats made to a PPA officer in June.

He had also assaulted a 15-year-old girl in 2017, BNS reports.

The criminal case was investigated by the South Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board and the investigation was led by the South District Prosecutor's Office.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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