THE BANSKÁ Bystrica District Court reduced from 13 to 12 years a prison term for former SWAT team officer Miroslav Jacko in connection with armed robberies in the house of the parents of former Slovak national football team player Vratislav Greško and that of lawyer Ján Smetana in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Both the prosecutor with the Prosecutor-General’s Office and Jacko’s legal representative appealed against the ruling. Jacko continues to spend his days in a maximum-security prison, the TASR newswire wrote on July 30.

The same court sentenced Jacko to 13 years back in 2009, with the verdict then upheld on appeal by the Regional Court in Banská Bystrica. However, Jacko was later granted a retrial. Back in 2004 and 2005, then SWAT member Jacko and his accomplice and former police investigator Robert Petluš committed the armed robberies, tying and beating up the victims in the process.

While Petlus was also convicted of the armed robberies, he never received a jail sentence for them. The court concluded at the time of the trial for the armed robberies that his previous jail sentence –25 years for the murder of Ján Kubašiak – was sufficient with a view to cover the other crimes and the time ran concurrently.

Jacko and Petluš were convicted following a testimony from their former partner in crime Juraj Roszík, whose testimony helped uncover practices of the so-called “police gang” which engaged in kidnapping, among other crimes.

Jacko has been behind bars for seven years now including a period of two years that he spent in custody between 2007 and 2009. He is free to apply for a conditional release after serving two-thirds of his sentence. If the 12-year sentence is upheld by the appellate court, he can be freed in less than a year.

The latest verdict is not effective yet, as both the prosecutor of General Prosecutor’s Office and the lawyer of the defendant have already appealed.

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