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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Polish author jailed for murder
By Adam Easton
BBC News, Warsaw

Krystian Bala in court
Bala said he based his book on newspaper reports of the murder
A Polish author has been jailed over the murder of a businessman, four years after he published a novel which contained details of a similar crime.

The court ruled that author Krystian Bala planned and led the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski because he believed he was having an affair with his wife.

The court jailed Bala for 25 years. It said there was not enough evidence to prove he had acted alone.

Police solved the crime after finding the book - a case of art copying life.

The body of Dariusz Janiszewski, the young, well-liked owner of a small advertising agency, was spotted by fishermen seven years ago on the banks of the River Oder, near the Polish city of Wroclaw.

He had been tortured, starved and tied up in a way that made it impossible to swim.

For years the police in Wroclaw had no motive and no suspect for the murder.

Then an officer came across an internet discussion about a murder in a recently published novel, entitled Amok.

The book was the first novel by philosophy graduate Krystian Bala, and it contained a description of a murder with similarities to that of Mr Janiszewski.

Police then discovered that Mr Bala had called the victim on the day he disappeared and had even sold his mobile phone on an internet auction website four days after the murder.

The prosecution said the author was jealous of Mr Janiszewski because he suspected him of having an affair with his estranged wife.

Mr Bala denied murder. He insists he wrote his novel after reading accounts of the murder in the media.


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