Blažena Martinková, former advisor to 1994-1998 Slovak Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, committed suicide yesterday in the psychiatric wing of Vienna’s Otto Wagner hospital. Austrian police reported she had hung herself in the shower with the belt from her bathrobe. Martinková had been interned at the hospital following her October 2000 murder attempt on her nine-year-old son, whom she stabbed 15 times with a kitchen knife before jumping out a second floor window.

Martinková, originally known as an opera singer, became famous in 1997 when she accompanied PM Mečiar on a state visit to Austria despite having no official credentials or state function. She and her husband Karol, formerly head of Devín banka and later boss of the Vadium Group which privatised the Piešťany health spa, fled to Austria in 1999 as the Dzurinda government re-took the Piešťany facility amid charges of privatisation fraud.