By US authorities’ own rules, a response must be offered within 30 days of a public petition reaching 25,000 signatures.
Yesterday, 105 days after the deadline, assistant secretary of state Michael Posner finally issued a comment – in which he said almost nothing.
Posner simply noted the facts of the situation and added that the White House expects Czech authorities to act in a “generally fair” manner.
The statement reads: “We appreciate your inquiry about the case of D. Randall Blythe, who was released from detention in the Czech Republic on August 3, 2012, and returned to the United States shortly thereafter.
“Mr. Blythe has publicly stated his intention to return to the Czech Republic to face trial for the alleged manslaughter of a Czech man at a concert in 2010. He recently told MTV, ‘It’s the correct thing for me to do… this poor young man’s family deserves some answers.’
“Pending Mr. Blythe’s trial, we cannot discuss the details of his case. We are closely monitoring the progress of his trial.
“The Department Of State noted in its 2011 Human Rights Report that in the Czech Republic, ‘The laws provide for the right to a fair trial, and the independent judiciary generally enforced this right.’
“We expect that the Czech government will make all efforts to ensure a fair, transparent, and timely trial for Mr. Blythe, and guarantee full protection of his legal rights under Czech law and his welfare.
“If you would like to know more about what the Department of State does for U.S. citizens overseas, please visit our website at Travel.State.Gov. General information on U.S. human rights policy is available at HumanRights.gov.”
The petition calling on the White House to help Blythe was signed by its 25,000th supporter, named as Cory D of Columbia, SC, on July 25 – meaning a response was due on August 24.
Blythe spent five weeks behind bars in the Czech Republic over the summer. He was arrested in connection with the death of Daniel Nosek, who passed away four months after a Lamb of God concert.
Investigators allege Blythe pushed Nosek off the stage after the fan had climbed past lax security staff for a third time, leading to a head injury which later caused a brain haemorrhage. It’s not clear whether there’s any evidence to support the claim.
Last week the singer was indicted on a charge of manslaughter, but according to Czech legal processes that doesn’t yet mean he must attend a trial.
If he’s called, he’ll defend himself – the band have auctioned their prizes possessions to fund his defence, and a second auction is planned, but even then it won’t be possible to afford representation in Prague.
-Classic Rock Magazine