When asked by the moderator of a TV talk show whether they believed Hedviga Malinová, an ethnic Hungarian student who claims to have been beaten up by Slovak extremists last year, or the police, who say the incident never happened, guests Béla Bugár (SMK) and Viliam Veteška (HZDS) fell into the trap, with Bugár declaring for Malinová, and Veteška for the police. A responsible politician, however, would have said that he preferred to wait for the facts of the case to come out instead of making a statement based on hearsay.
SMK leader Pál Csáky, like Bugár, likewise said last week that "we believe this girl". In other words, they already have doubts whether the court that will decide the case will be free and fair. This is an immoral position. If, as the lawyer for Malinová says, there is evidence that the police mishandled her case, where better to present it than in court? One thing is for sure - these court proceedings will be under greater domestic and international scrutiny than any until now.
On the other hand, the confession of Veteška is naive and irresponsible as well. Believing that the justice system in Slovakia always acts fairly and decides impartially simply because it is Slovak is not an expression of patriotism but of gullibility. If it is proven in court that Malinová was charged without grounds, it will not be a loss for Slovakia but a victory for the truth.
Sme, May 21
28. May 2007 at 0:00 | Marián Leško