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Another witness dies in Černák mafia case

MATEJ Zachar, 27, died after falling from the window of a sixth-storey flat in Brezno in Central Slovakia on January 2. Police are investigating whether his death was a suicide, an accident or a murder.

Zachar was the crown witness in a murder case involving Banská Bystrica mob boss Mikuláš Černák, who is reputed to be the head of the Slovak underworld. The prosecution contends that Černák, together with Branislav Adamčo and Michal Moravčík, murdered Marián Karcel in 2000 after Karcel implicated Černák in another killing.

Zachar had told police that he had driven the three men after the killing to Slovenská Lupča, where they had burned the car used in the crime. A few months later, he claimed to have been pressured into the confession by law enforcement authorities.

The deceased was also a witness in the case of the November 15 murder of Ján Kubašiak, a businessman from Central Slovakia, which was allegedly committed by two ex-policemen and a serving officer.

Černák could be released from pre-trial custody in the near future due to an error by Slovak law enforcement authorities, who forgot to request the permission of the Czech Republic to try Černák on murder charges during his extradition to Slovakia in 2003. A Prague court has since issued the approval, but a Slovak district court ruled a month ago that Černák had to be released. The case is being decided on appeal by the Banská Bystrica district court.

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