The Appellate Court has upheld a decision of the Warsaw Regional Court sentencing Robert K. to 25 years in prison for the murder of Zdzislaw Beksinski.
Another man, Lukasz K., who was accused of complicity in the crime, will be given a new trial in the Regional Court, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported late last week.
Beksinski, a Polish surrealist painter known for his images of death, was found stabbed to death in his Warsaw apartment in February 2005.
Robert K., a 19-year-old secondary-school pupil at the time, and his 16-year-old cousin Lukasz K., were arrested shortly after the crime. Robert K., son of a longtime friend and aide of Beksinski, confessed while in custody to killing the painter.
The two boys had gone to Beksinski?s house to borrow money from him. Beksinski refused the loan and tried to call Robert K.?s father to tell him about the incident. The next day, February 22, 2005, the 75-year-old painter was found dead in his apartment, stabbed repeatedly in the head and chest.
On November 9, 2006, the Court of Warsaw condemned Robert K. to 25 years in prison, and his accomplice, Lukasz K. to 5 years.
The Appellate Court upheld the lower court?s judgement in Robert K.?s trial, but was not convinced of Lukasz K.?s guilt. His case will be retried at the Warsaw Regional Court.
The counsel for the defense Elzbieta Orzanska noted that Lukasz K. had no preconception of the murder, so he cannot be convicted for any participation in the crime.
?The lack of proof that he helped with the murder was also mentioned by the prosecuting attorney. The boy only covered up the trail,? she added.
However, the prosecution stated that they had written text messages to each other that proved that Lukasz K. knew in what kind of activities he was taking part.
Born in 1929, Beksinski was one of the most popular 20th Century Polish artists, the creator of numerous surrealist and expressionist works.
?He created a language, a climate of horror and secrecy in his paintings. He engaged people?s imagination, and it was very convincing,? said curator of modern art at Warsaw?s National Museum, Katarzyna Nowakowska-Sito according to Reuters.
Beksinski became famous around Europe and Japan for his nightmarish paintings of cemeteries, apocalyptic images and skeletons or monstrosities.
His pictures are often compared to the work of Austrian Ernst Fuchs, founder of a school of artistry known as fantastic-realism. Beksinski was often compared to Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger (creator of the terrifying lifeforms and their otherworldly environment in the film classic, ?Alien?).
?Beksinski won our imagination and the hearts of everyone — the public and the critics,? Zacheta Gallery director Agnieszka Morawinska told PAP.