Pilot crashes at Children's Day Air Show
An air show at the Sliač airbase in central Slovakia marking International Children's Day ended in tragedy on June 1. During the acrobatic programme of the Slovak White Albatrosses (a training group of jet fighters) Major Ľuboš Novák (38) died when his plane crashed. An eyewitness to the accident said that Novák had attempted to fly his Czech-built L-39Z Albatross under a high voltage power line, but failed to complete the maneuver and clipped the ground instead. The air-show was immediately discontinued.
The Slovak Defence Ministry said on June 5 that they had not discovered the reason for the accident. According to an investigation committee, videos taken by spectators at the show offered insufficient footage to be of use, while the last recorded communication between the pilot and air traffic control officers also lacked clues. Novák had not attempted to eject from his plane, nor had he reported any technical difficulties, the committee reported.
Local mayor beaten up in bar fight
Ján Grega, the mayor of the small town of Smolnická Huta in eastern Slovakia, was beaten by two local bar toughs after he attempted to break up a fight on May 18. Grega, who suffered several blows to his head, had been summoned to the pub by a waiter when Ján Horvat and his brother started a fight with two other patrons.
"When I arrived at the pub, these two drunks asked me why I'd come," said Grega (31). "I said that I'd come to restore order. One of them grabbed my shirt, but I shook free. Then, like a flash from the sky, he kicked and hit me. I lost my shoes in the scuffle."
When asked why he had attacked the mayor, Horvát said "I don't know. I don't remember, I was drunk. But they hit me too, and I lost a tooth. I would like to apologise to everyone, I don't know what came over me."
Alcoholic husband murders wife in her sleep
A former employee of the Interior Ministry with a history of alcoholism shot his wife dead in her sleep, then committed suicide on June 6 in the small town of Pezinok about 20 kilometres outside Bratislava. The bodies of Anita K. (29) and Marián K. (41) were discovered in the morning by the mother of the wife.
Local police said that Marián K. had likely arrived at home drunk and had an argument with his wife. After they went to sleep, he used his illegally-owned pistol and shot her in bed.
Marián K. maintained police cars while he worked at the Interior Ministry, while Anita K. was a primary school teacher who had recently graduated from university. The dead couple leave behind two children aged four and six.
Hungry bears kill five mountain sheep
A family of hungry bears migrating from Lubochnianska Valley to Zelená Valley via the Veĺká Fatra mountain range killed five sheep at a mountain sheep farm on June 3. Miroslav Saniga, a researcher for the Slovak Adademy of Science's research centre in Staré Hory, said that according to the footprints, the family had consisted of a mother bear and her cubs. Although five sheep were killed, only one was eaten, Saniga added, suggesting that the mother bear had been teaching her offspring how to hunt.
Nitsch's Theatre of Orgy and Mysteries banned in Ružinov
Pavol Kubovič, the mayor of the Bratislava city district of Ružinov, announced on June 1 that he had banned the controversial exhibition of Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch in the district. The exhibit, which opened under the auspices of the Austrian Ambassador to Slovakia Gabriele Matzner-Holzer on May 28, has met with protests from social groups such as Greenpeace for its controversial practice of killing animals on stage and then using the blood and organs to create artistic works.
The exhibit is being staged at the Thoha Gallery in the Soravia Shopping Park in Bratislava. Kubovič protested that organisers had failed to notify the local government in advance, as the law stipulates that social events must be announced seven days before.
Nitsch has said that he encourages the idea of experiencing the 'drama of killing and blood' in controlled acts, but says that he would never harm anyone in real life. He has said that he only kills sick animals.
Hidden camera catches 'hardcore party'
Journalists with the private station TV Markíza used a hidden camera to shoot footage of a party in Stupava (outside Bratislava) where approximately 150 youths as young as 12 years old partied to hardcore house music in a deserted grass meadow. Although local police had been notified of the party at which drugs were being sold - the journalists themselves purchased tabs of LSD - no units ever showed up.
The purchased LSD and the film footage have been submitted to the police as evidence. The police have not yet issued a statement on why they did not raid the party.
Compiled by Chris Togneri from TASR, SITA and press reports