Prague - Fifteen squatters, who occupied a house in Prague-Albertov last September, were given suspended sentences and community works by a district court today.
Three foreigners in the group were expelled from the Czech Republic.
The verdict can be appealed.
The young people were charged with unlawful interference in the right to the house, flat or non-residential premises for which they faced up to two years in prison.
The state attorney proposed that the squatters be sentenced to community works.
The defence counsel demanded that his clients be acquitted of charges since they had not committed the crime they were accused of.
The accused intruded into the building of former baths at the corner of Apolinarska and Na Slupi streets in Prague centre, and they spent a night in the house. Then the police detained them since they ignored the call for leaving the premises.
The 22 detained squatters were originally given suspended prison sentences and community works by a criminal order, but 15 of them filed a protest against it.
The judge therefore had to order court proceedings on the case.
The squatters defended themselves, saying they did not plan to stay in the occupied building for long. Their act was only to attract public attention to the problem of abandoned and dilapidated houses, they pointed out.
The squatters criticised the police intervention as inadequate as they said they had not resisted the police.