Supreme Court confirms verdicts for acid gang

THE SLOVAK Supreme Court on December 7 confirmed two exceptional sentences, one of which one was life in jail, that were handed down earlier this year by the Special Court for organized crime to men accused of dissolving their murder victims in acid.

THE SLOVAK Supreme Court on December 7 confirmed two exceptional sentences, one of which one was life in jail, that were handed down earlier this year by the Special Court for organized crime to men accused of dissolving their murder victims in acid.

Bratislava businessman Jozef Kákoni, known in the underworld as "Čičo", received the stricter sentence for the execution of at least two people, whose bodies were subsequently dissolved in sulfuric acid. Kákoni's aide, former paratrooper Rastislav Šitta from Žilina, received 25 years in jail. The court's verdict is final.

Judge Juraj Majchrák, who led the Supreme Court senate in this appeal, said it was proven beyond doubt that the accused had committed murder to get rid of people who witnessed their other criminal activities. Because they dissolved their victims in acid, the bodies have never been found.

"This is a unique case in the history of Slovak justice as far as the liquidation of the victims' bodies is concerned," said the judge.

The victims include 26-year-old Marek Novotný, 32-year-old Marián Cibíček, and 31-year-old Vladimír Sihelník. Following an argument over money, the gang leader František Miker, was also killed and dissolved in acid. Miker's case is being tried separately by the Special Court.

The acid gang began by trading worthless software and then reclaiming VAT, which brought them nearly Sk200 million in illegal gains. The economic part of the case, which took place between 2000 and 2002, is also being dealt with by the Special Court in separate proceedings.

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