Police have accused seven men over the violent assaults in an around Nitra’s Mariatchi bar, spokesperson of the Nitra region police directorate Bozena Bruchterova told the TASR newswire.

Five of the seven alleged offenders, aged between 21 and 33 and identified only by their first names, are being held in connection with an attack that took place on October 5, 2013. The respective investigator has proposed prison sentences for the five men of 4-10 years. [In the Slovak system all of the aforementioned steps are preliminary to charges being pressed by prosecutors - ed. note].

Bruchterova says that the charges are related to an incident in which a group of young men attacked the staff of the Mariatchi bar after a quarrel. Three people sustained serious bodily injuries during the assault, which should take some 42 days to heal, as stated by the official police report.
In addition, a similar attack followed on January 1, during which the attackers broke the leg of the owner of the Mariatchi bar. With respect to this case, the investigator has accused a 23-year-old and 26-year-old men. While several of the men are alleged to have ties to extremist groups, neither of the attacks was racially motivated, based on available evidence.

The police have recorded four other misdemeanours involving damage to property at the bar, TASR wrote on January 29.

After video of the October assault was publicised by media earlier this week, the case progressed rapidly and some questioned why the case had remained stalled for months. Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said he thinks the time period was standard.

“The time helped to strengthen the evidence here,” he said. “The police interest was that the perpetrators haven’t been accused only of assault, but also of the fact that they deliberately wanted to cause serious injury.”

The Sme daily reported on January 28 that neo-Nazis broke the leg of the owner of the bar, a noted civil rights activist. The neo-Nazis also beat up two people until they lost consciousness. One of the attacks was captured on camera by city police, with the faces of the perpetrators clearly visible. An added twist is that some of the accused ran on the slate of Our Slovakia-People’s Party-NS-ĽS leader and now Banská Bystrica regional governor Marian Kotleba in the 2012 general election.

Kotleba did not comment on the incident.

The Nitra prosecutor sent an analysis of the police course of action and proceedings since the attack to the General Prosecutor’s Office – on January 28, after being ordered to do so by Special Prosecutor Peter Šufliarsky.

(Source: TASR, SITA, Sme)
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani and Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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