Harald Kopitz, a 57-year-old Austrian national indicted for killing his three children in Zagreb last September, was sentenced by Zagreb County Court on Tuesday to 50 years in prison.
In what was probably the shortest trial in the history of the Croatian judiciary, opened on Tuesday morning and held behind closed doors, Kopitz admitted responsibility for the triple murder. He was given 27 years in prison for each of the three murders, which was combined into a single sentence of 50 years – the maximum allowed under Croatian law.
Judge Iva Gradiski-Lovrecek decided to hold a closed trial with the consent of the defendant, the defence and the prosecution to protect the dignity of the victims and their mother. Kopitz was accused of murdering his children, two of whom were seven, while one was four, in a Zagreb flat around 10 pm on 24 September 2021.
Media said Kopitz was living and working in Zagreb, where he owned several companies and also worked for a number of larger companies as a financial consultant and negotiator. At the time of the murders, the children’s mother was working in a hotel in Dubrovnik and the children were spending the weekend with their father.
An expert examination performed at Zagreb’s prison hospital established that Kopitz was of sound mind when he committed the crime.