THREE months after a group of neo-Nazis brutally attacked patrons at a bar in Nitra, the police have detained the five perpetrators and are likely to arrest another three people in connection with a later attack at the same bar on New Year’s Eve. The arrest came on the heels of the Sme daily breaking the story on January 28.

Sme’s story was based on the testimonies of the victims and witnesses of the October attack on several patrons and the owner of the Mariatchi bar, as well as a video from city security cameras, with which produced images detailed enough to allow the police to identify the attackers.

Police President Tibor Gašpar admitted that they would charge the attackers shortly and would also propose to detain them, Sme reported on January 29. Regarding the police’s slow response, he argued that they had to wait for the opinions of the doctors who treated the injuries of the victims. The doctors qualified the injuries as requiring medical treatment for only seven days, which does not constitute grave bodily harm.

However, Nitra police said on January 27 that some of the victims’ injuries took six weeks to heal, which the victims themselves confirmed. There will be an inspection into whether the police were negligent in their investigation of the October attack, Gašpar told Sme.

Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák did not respond to calls for him to step down, arguing that he did not want to interfere in the police work, adding that there is a “zero tolerance” policy towards such attacks.

The Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee is expected to deal with the case, which raised political concerns not only due to the brutality of the attack but also due to the fact that the attackers reportedly have ties with People’s Party-Our Slovakia of Marian Kotleba, the recently-elected Banská Bystrica regional governor known for his extremist views.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.