Blažena Martinková, a former advisor "for everything" to then-Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, attempted to murder her nine-year old son on October 27 in Vienna. After the failed attempt, she then unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide.
According to the Slovak press agency TASR, Martinková attacked her sleeping son, Filip, with a knife at 5:00 on Friday morning. Her husband Karol Martinka, who was awoken by screams, broke down the door to his son's room and flung his wife aside. She then repeatedly stabbed herself in the chest before jumping out of a second-floor window nine feet above ground level.
Filip Martinka was rushed to the Vienna general hospital where he underwent life-saving surgery. He suffered serious back, spinal column and heart injuries. Martinková, who is receiving treatment in a different Vienna hospital under police guard, incurred broken vertebrae from her fall, as well as the self-inflicted stab wounds.
Doctors treating the patients were placed under an information embargo on the case. Vienna Police Chief of Investigation Max Edelbacher said that Martinková had refused to respond to police questioning at the hospital. She did, however, confess to the attempted murder to Austrian police officers at the scene of the crime.
Karol Martinka is the former privatiser of western Slovakia's Piešťany spas. He has been living in Vienna for more than a year despite attempts by the Slovak police to have him extradited for his involvement in mis-management and fraud at the spas. Martinka is also wanted for questioning in the 1995 Michal Kováč Jr. kidnapping case.
Martinková was reported to have been in unstable mental condition throughout the family's stay in Vienna. She was regualarly seeing a psychiatrist and had a scheduled appointment the day she attacked her son.
Martinka, who was also reported to have been seeing a psychiatrist, was cleared of suspicion after questioning by Austrian police.
Edelbacher said that if convicted for attempted murder in the Austrian court system, Martinková could face 10 years in prison. He added, however, that her psychological condition would likely be used as an argument to mitigate the punishment.
Martinková's name first became a household word in Slovakia when, as an unaccredited private person she paid a 1997 state visit with Mečiar to Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima. When journalists asked a Mečiar spokesman who she was and why she had accompanied the prime minister on a state visit, they were told she was Mečiar's "advisor for everything."
As the media ruckus intensified, Mečiar cancelled the press briefings which had regularly been held after cabinet sessions. The question of who Martinková was and what her relationship was to the prime minister was taken up by MPs during the official question period in parliament on December 4, 1997.
Mečiar, despite having had time to prepare an official answer in the days before, lost his calm and shouted at opposition MP Július Brocka for having asked an "impolite" question.
Alleging that Martinková had done more for EU integration than "all the parties of the government coalition," Mečiar said that "as for who Mrs. Martinková is, Mr. Brocka, you'll have to find out for yourself. I'm not an ad agency, and I don't give out information on ladies of any kind." He then wiggled his hands behind his head in imitation of a donkey's ears and stormed out of parliament.
Several months later, when Martinková was no longer regularly appearing with Mečiar in public, Rádio Twist reporter Karol Lovaš asked the PM's spokesman Jozef Krošlak for an explanation. "Why did you break up with your girlfriend?" was the answer.
Krošlak was dismissed from his function several days later.
6. Nov 2000 at 0:00 | Chris Togneri