A THREE-member senate of the Bratislava Regional Court has sentenced Marián Mišún and Štefan Potocký to pay fines of €300 and €500, respectively, for burning a European Union flag back in November 2012. If they fail to pay the fine, they will go to prison, the TASR newswire reported on June 3.

The court upheld the original verdict issued by the lower-instance court last December. The only thing it changed was part of the original verdict banning Mišún from staying in Bratislava for two years. Mišún submitted a request for a residence permit in Bratislava on June 2.

The verdict is now valid, TASR wrote.

About 20 activists came to the court to support Mišún and Potocký and criticise the verdict. Moreover, one of the activists left a recording device in the court room when the judges called on the public to leave the room so they could discuss the verdict, as reported by TASR.

Mišún and Potocký said during the proceeding that they are “proud of what they did, since the EU has stolen everything from Slovakia”. Both claimed they were innocent.

The incident took place on November 10, 2012 at Alexandra Dubčeka Square during a march organised by Mišún and Oskar Dobrovodský, who has reportedly been in conflict with his Roma neighbours for several years. While giving a speech, Mišún and Potocký took out the flag and set it on fire.

The Bratislava I District Court ruled in May 2013 that the flag burning was only a minor offence. The prosecutor in the case appealed and the regional court subsequently rejected the verdict, claiming the proceeding had to be repeated. The district court then fined Mišún and Potocký on December 3, 2013 and instituted a two-year ban preventing both from staying in Bratislava, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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