A 35 year-old priest has been sentenced to two years imprisonment in Czechoslovakia for sexually abusing children, despite widespread protests at his innocence.
Fr Stefan Gerboc is known for his ministry among young people in the area, and had been acquitted earlier last year due to a lack of evidence. Fr Gerboc's parishioners have vigorously protested his innocence throughout the case, and when his trial started in November, over twenty of his fellow prisoners turned up outside the courtroom to protest against the proceedings. Despite no witnesses appearing against Fr Gerboc the prosecution was successful, although Fr Gerboc has been released pending an appeal.
Fr Gerboc's appeal is one of several which will be heard after the visit of Mr Gorbachev to Czechoslovakia.
Another case which has been postponed until after the visit is that of Catholic activist Frantisek Adamik, who was sentenced to two years' imprisonment on charges of subversion of the state after the confiscation of religious samizdat and printing equipment.