Prosecution of racist leader begins

MARIÁN Kotleba, a 29-year-old teacher and former leader of the banned ultra-nationalist Slovak Togetherness (Slovenská pospolitosť) party, has been charged with inciting national, racial and ethnic hatred during a Slovak Radio (SRo) talk show broadcast on May 27.

During the talk show, Kotleba, who ran in parliamentary elections as number two on the candidates list of the tiny Slovak People's Party (SĽS), said the SĽS aimed to "establish a segregated Slovak state based on Christian, national and social principles". He also spoke about a "white Slovakia", and said the SĽS wanted to purge Slovak society of the influence of communists, socialists and liberals.

The SRo has prevented the broadcast from being copied off its website, but the SĽS allows free access to it on its own.

The Slovak Attorney General's Office is now checking the SĽS' registration documents and is considering taking legal action.

Slovak Togetherness was disbanded on March 1 after the Supreme Court outlawed it for promoting extremism. The party was known for its military-style parades in which members dressed in uniforms closely resembling those worn by the pro-Nazi Hlinka Guards that served the Slovak fascist state (1939-1945).

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