Student Anarchist Confesses to Stabbing Communist Leader
PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia (AP) _ Police said a teenage anarchist has confessed to having stabbed Communist Party leader Jiri Svoboda earlier this month, the CTK news agency reported Wednesday.
But Stepan Roman, attorney to Petr Wohlmuth, denied his client confessed, the agency reported several hours later. Police refused to retract the report.
Wohlmuth, a 19-year-old Charles University philosophy student, was arrested Monday on suspicion of staging the attack. If convicted of attempted assassination, he would face 10 to 15 years in prison.
Svoboda, 47, a filmmaker by profession, leads the Czech Communist Party, the only Communist party in the region to have kept its name. The party took 14 percent of the vote in elections this year and is the largest opposition group in the Czech parliament.
Svoboda suffered chest, stomach and liver injuries when a masked attacker stabbed him as he answered the doorbell Dec. 5. He was released from the hospital several days later.
The attack on Svoboda occurred just weeks before the planned Jan. 1 dissolution of Czechoslovakia into Czech and Slovak states.
The initial report said Wohlmuth’s motives were unknown, but added he belongs to the ″Anarchist Union,″ a well-known fringe group.
Wohlmuth was arrested on Monday. Blood tests and tests of hair left at the site confirmed suspicion that he was the assailant, CTK said.