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PRESS digest: PRAVDA DAILY

News item: The murder of a businessman in Polomka on November 14 bears all the signs of a professional job by people with police training, stated Police President Ján Packa.


"Little Sicily"
By Dag Daniš


The mafia killing in Polomka was not just a tragedy, it was above all a demonstration of strength by the mafia, and of the weakness of the police. A group of gangsters shot an entrepreneur right in his house. Shortly thereafter they disarmed a police patrol without a fight. During their escape they blew past police "reinforcements" and then disappeared. Just like in a cheap action flick.

The Polomka drama confirmed a sad fact: The state is unbelievably amateurish in the security field. No one was even surprised that the mafia gang that so quickly dealt with the police was composed of former SWAT team members, former members of the elite police force, whose training was paid for by the government. Now they are paid by the mafia.

This is not just the fault of the police. The whole chain of justice (police-prosecutors-courts) is in a shambles. In this state there is no tradition of professionalism, honour and taking a hard line. There is no authority protected by unwritten rules and principles. Instead, there is a culture of tolerance for betrayals and abuse of power that no one is ever held accountable for.

The new interior minister even got rid of police corps vice-president Jaroslav Spišiak, known for his implacable opposition to the mafia. No debate, no protests by his colleagues. The Attorney General personally ensured that Jozef Majský was freed from jail. Without anyone demanding he be fired. The judge who ruled on the trial of mafia kingpin Mikuláš Černák is now a lawyer for the same mafia. Without shame.

In this banana republic atmosphere, no one can be surprised when a gangster disarms a police patrol and handcuffs them, almost in a friendly manner. They are colleagues, after all - either former or future. Because in Slovak politics, desertion or changing sides is not an unforgivable sin but the norm.

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