Josef Urválek

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During the show-trial with Rudolf Slánský

JUDr. Josef Urválek (1910, České Budějovice – 1979, Prague) was a procurator and later judge of the Czechoslovak state court. He is known for his participation in the political processes in socialist Czechoslovakia during the 1950s. In a number of show trials, he was responsible for securing the death sentences of Milada Horáková and of 14 communist functionaries, including Rudolf Slánský, on trumped-up charges of treason.

When cross-examining the accused, he would frequently interrupt them, make intolerant remarks, and compare them to insects and the worst human waste. At Slánský's trial, he said in his final speech "I demand the death sentence for all accused. Let justice smash like an iron fist, without the slightest pity. Let it be the fire that shall burn out this nest of enemies."

After the trials he rose within the party ranks, being made leader of the highest court in 1957. He retired from this post in 1963 to join the Výzkumný ústav kriminalistiky ("Research Institute of Criminalistics") in the general prosecution. He died in 1979.

This article is based on a translation of an article from the Czech Wikipedia.

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