Hundreds of people of both Hungarian and Slovak ethnicity came to support Hedviga Žáková (née Malinová) in front of the Justice Ministry in April 30 late afternoon.

Žáková (who formerly went by the surname Malinová before being married) is an ethnic Hungarian who reported to have been attacked in August 2006 after two men overheard her speaking Hungarian on the phone. She was charged with perjury in early April. Following the decision to charge Žáková, the non-governmental organisation Round Table of Hungarians in Slovakia (OSMS) announced a protest gathering called “Today Hedviga, Tomorrow You – Justice for All” for April 30. The date was chosen to coincide with a gala event in the historical building of the Slovak National Theatre to mark the 10th anniversary of Slovakia’s EU membership.

It started at 18:00 in the Župné Square and later it moved to the Hviezdoslavovo Square, where the gala evening was taking place in the Slovak National Theatre It was attended by about 500 people, according to the SITA newswire, and several public personalities openly expressed their support, like Zuzana Wienk of the Aliancia Fair-play watchdog, journalists Eugen Korda and Marie Vrabcová and actress Zita Furková. It ended with a short performance, symbolising the murder of Slovak justice. No violence or problems occurred.

In August 2006 Žáková, a Hungarian-speaking Slovak citizen, reported that she had been assaulted on her way to a university exam in Nitra. The police said that their investigation into the case, involving more than 250 officers and interviews with 600 people, led to their conclusion that the assault never happened. The police findings were released in September 2006 at a press conference by then-interior minister Robert Kaliňák and then-prime minister Robert Fico (both of whom currently hold the same positions), with Kaliňák stating “it is beyond doubt that the case did not happen”. He presented several pieces of evidence that he said backed his claim, including DNA samples. Kaliňák later went on to denounce Žáková as a “pathological liar”. Žáková was charged in May 2007 with perjury and making false claims, but only on April 2, 2014 was the case was submitted to the Nitra District Court.

Malinová has two children and has moved to Hungary, accepting a Hungarian citizenship and thus giving up her Slovak passport.

Deputy General Prosecutor Peter Šufliarsky said on a televised debate of the news-only TA3 TV channel that the inspection team of the General Prosecutor’s Office found flaws in the factual evidence of the first investigation of the case. Šufliarsky also said there exists a witness who was present on the crime site of alleged attack on August 25, 2006, the TASR newswire quoted from the televised debate.

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