Contrary to earlier reports, the five alleged attackers involved in the October Nitra attack at the Mariatchi bar now appear have only been briefly detained by police and now are now free.

The release came as a prosecutor declined to sign off on holding the suspects. The General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) will now scrutinise the prosecutor’s actions.

“This morning, the file was delivered to the GPO and after having studied it, we will assess the steps of the overseeing prosecutor,” GPO spokeswoman Andrea Predajňová told the TASR newswire. “Due to the decision of the prosecutor of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Nitra, those accused were released. Thus, the GPO will also assess the reasoning for the release of the defendants.”

The GPO leadership has been dealing with the allegations related to the attack since January 29. Police have accused seven men over the violent assaults in an around Nitra’s Mariatchi bar, Nitra region police directorate spokeswoman Božena Bruchterova told the TASR newswire.

Five of the seven alleged offenders, aged between 21 and 33 and identified only by their first names, were said to have been held in connection with an attack that took place on October 5, 2013. However, this no long appears the case. 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].

Two other suspects are accused of less serious crimes.

On January 28, the Sme daily reported on this attack, also wiritng that on the New Year, 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, the paper said. 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.

The reports of the attacks got attention of police and to prosecutors, after Sme published the video recording of one of the attacks. Police charged the men one day after the video was published.

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