News item: The Nitra district prosecutor has upheld a decision by the police to shelve an investigation into the alleged attack on an ethnic Hungarian student in Nitra on August 25 on the grounds that it never happened.

A story that lacks an ending
By Ján Borčin

Neither the police nor the Nitra prosecutor's office believe the story of the brutal attack on the ethnic Hungarian student Hedviga Malinová. The prosecution has now upheld the decision of the police to shelve their investigation into the case. Is that the end of the story? Let's hope not.

If the state abandons its efforts to discover the truth in this case, it will undermine its own authority. The "attack on Hedviga" scandal hurt not only the student herself, but also the state, especially its international reputation. The alleged attack launched a wave of protests from Europe that submerged Slovakia.

What's the best response? Finding evidence. It's not enough just to say that the attack didn't happen, as two organs in the criminal justice system have already done. We need answers above all to the question of what it was all in aid of. In the Hedviga case, we need to find the guilty party, whoever it turns out to be.

If the police and prosecutors are sure that Hedviga made the whole thing up, they should make sure the story isn't left without an ending. In this we are encouraged by the statement of Attorney General Dobroslav Trnka, who said that the criminal justice authorities intended to continue to look for the truth.

Trnka even said that Hedviga could face criminal charges for misleading the police. "There are various ways of ending this, and one of them is to put her on trial," he said.

The Hedviga story is almost over, but there is still a lot to play for. Only by following the case to the bitter end can we force the international community to admit: Sorry, we made a mistake.

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