Lexa lodges complaint in Strasbourg Court
Former Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Ivan Lexa lodged a complaint with the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, arguing that the continuing investigation of him for his alleged involvement in the 1995 kidnapping of former president Michal Kováč's son is a violation of his human rights, said Lexa's lawyer Juraj Trokan in Bratislava on January 12.
Lexa claims that the investigation is illegal because former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar granted an amnesty in March 1998 to anyone involved in the kidnapping. Lexa also complained that his three-month imprisonment in 1999 was illegal, and that state representatives had made a fair trial impossible through their repeated slanderous media campaigns.
In compensation, Lexa is seeking the discontinuation of the investigation as well as financial compensation for his jail term and legal costs.
Two Chinese nationals murdered at warehouse
Two Chinese men were shot to death in a Chinese-owned textile warehouse on Stará Vajnorská Street on January 17. Police spokesman Jaroslav Sahul said one of the victims, a 38 year-old resident of Bratislava, died at the scene from head wounds, while his 26 year-old brother died en route to hospital, also of head wounds.
A small calibre weapon and over a million Slovak crowns in cash were found at the crime scene. Curiously, on the same street in 1994, six Vietnamese people were shot to death, including a pregnant woman and an eight year-old girl.
Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner warned at the beginning of January that two new Chinese and Vietnamese organized crime groups had recently begun operations on Slovak soil.
Teenagers charged with double murder
Police charged two teenagers, Štefan L. (17) and Jozef Z. (18) of Partizánske, with the double murder of entrepreneurs Július H. (44) and Igor J. (36), said Trenčín Regional Police spokeswoman Magda Krasulová on January 12. The two men were found dead from head wounds on the bank of the Nitra River in Partizánske. Krasulová said that the attackers had used "wooden objects" in the attack, and that it may have taken "some time" for the victims to die.
Police have not yet established a motive for the murders, but said that theft and blackmail were being considered.
The two victims were last seen alive the previous night drinking in a local pub, where the SITA news agency reported that they may have had an argument with their eventual murderers.
New Year's explosives claim casualties
Celebrations of the new year ended tragically for a 38 year-old man and his son in Brezno. A few minutes after midnight on January 1, the man lit an explosive which detonated prematurely, causing lethal damage to his chest and abdomen and also severe injuries to the eyes and face of the victim's 18-year-old son.
The father died shortly thereafter in hospital. The son was immediately operated on and at last report was listed in critical condition.
Local police said that the explosive may have been home-made and that the death toll could have been higher; although the explosion occurred near the main crowd on Brezno's Milan Rastislav Štefánik Square, no other injuries were reported.
New Year's explosives also claimed victims in the nation's capital. The Bratislava Medical Rescue and Transport Service team reported three cases requiring first aid as well as other explosive-related injuries which required plastic surgery.
In all, 45 adults and 11 children were brought to hospital by the rescue team as a result of New Year's celebrations in Bratislava, while 81 received medical aid at home and 88 were taken to hospital by friends.
Girl refusing drunken sexual advances murdered
A 20-year-old man from this small village murdered a local girl after she refused his drunken New Year's Eve sexual advances by slitting her throat with a kitchen knife. The pair had been attending a New Year's Eve party on January 1, but had left at around 4 a.m. to get some food. The Trenčín Bureau of Investigation said that the boy's blood-alcohol level had been 0.9 parts per thousand.
The murderer's 13-year-old sister was sleeping in the adjoining room when the victim's screams woke her. She ran into the room and chased her brother away, but was too late to save the victim. Local police picked the boy up and charged him with the homicide.
Police arrest nine mafia members for Stojka murder
Police arrested nine members of the Košice mafia on January 8 for their alleged involvement in the November murder of mob boss Miroslav Stojka, said the Košice Regional Investigation Office on the same day. The accused are believed to have worked for Karol Kollárik, a rival Košice mob boss who was also recently murdered.
A police raid led to seven of the nine arrests. The men have been charged with collaborating in the brutal murder in which Stojka was attacked with a machete and then shot at close range in Košice's Pláž restaurant. Two of the accomplices, Robert F. and Marcel B., were already facing unrelated charges of blackmail.
Teenagers steal 3.5 million Slovak crowns
A nation-wide manhunt has been launched for two thieves, aged 15 and 18, who stole 3.5 million Slovak crowns from the Vamex firm in Košice on January 17, said a Košice Regional Police spokeswoman.
The firm's cashier and maintenance man had just collected the weekend's receipts from the Vomax grocery store when the two assailants attacked and robbed them in the parking lot of Mládeže (Youth) Park. The culprits made off with the cash after throwing an unidentified liquid into the men's eyes, grabbing the cash-stuffed case, and fleeing in a red Seat. Police added the teenagers missed an additional 227,000 crowns which the maintenance man was carrying on his person because it did not fit in the case.
Police cordoned off the city and stopped all red Seats travelling city sreets, but were unable to catch the larcenous youths.
Compiled by Chris Togneri
from TASR and press reports
24. Jan 2000 at 0:00