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Man acquitted after serving 18 years in Polish prison for rape and murder of teenager he did not commit

Man acquitted after serving 18 years in Polish prison for rape and murder of teenager he did not commit

A man falsely imprisoned for 18 years over the rape and murder of a teenager has been acquitted by Poland’s supreme court.

Judges ruled Tomasz Komenda could not have committed the crime after advanced forensic techniques shed new light on the evidence.

The 42-year-old, who gave a cry of relief after the verdict was announced, said life in prison was “hell” and that he had been “treated like filth” behind bars.

Mr Komenda’s case has shocked the nation, with Poland’s right-wing government highlighting it as an example of what it says is a malfunctioning justice system requiring deep reform.

Justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro, however, said the acquittal showed the mistakes of the system can be corrected.

He said: “No-one can give back the years that Tomasz Komenda has lost. Still, the acquittal restores the sense of dignity of an innocent man who had been wrongly convicted.”

Mr Komenda left prison in March after prosecutors revisited his case and came to the conclusion he was innocent.