Ice-hockey player gets six years for murdering referee

Bratislava: Former Slovak premier league ice-hockey player Ladislav Scurko has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of referee Marek Liptaj in January 2008.

Scurko committed the murder in a "state of mild insanity", said psychiatric experts, and this served as a mitigating circumstance before the Kosice District 1 court, which announced the verdict Thursday.

"I don`t agree with the decision of the district court," said Scurko who kept insisting his innocence.

Liptaj was murdered in the lay-by of a motorway after being stabbed 19 times in the chest and stomach. His remains were discovered 11 months later. Scurko at first confessed to the crime, but later changed his testimony and began claiming that it was in fact two unknown men he saw at the lay-by who murdered the referee.

Scurko was released by the Kosice court in 2011 after providing a written pledge that he wouldn`t escape, interfere with the proceedings and would remain under the supervision of a probation official.

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