It took nearly 23 years, but a dissident who was brutally beaten by secret police in Communist Czechoslovakia has finally brought the perpetrators to justice.

On Tuesday, a Czech court convicted the two former secret police agents of misusing power in their treatment of Petr Placak, and sentenced Antonin Prchal to 18 months in prison and Ladislav Irovsky to a year. Their driver at the time was given a suspended sentence.

Placak, a well-known anti-Communist dissident, was taken by car to woods outside Prague and brutally beaten in June 1989, just before the Velvet Revolution led by Vaclav Havel toppled the 40 years of Communist rule.

Placak's complaint at the time was ignored, but he kept going to police who eventually dug up the needed evidence.

Tuesday's verdict was appealed.