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Around Slovakia

Čarnogurský sky dives for the seventh time
Mafia boss shot
Slota wants Slovaks to "wake-up"
Four die in stolen bus joy-ride
Lexa smokes 50 cigarettes a day, gains 6 kilograms

Bratislava
Čarnogurský sky dives for the seventh time

Slovak Justice Minister and Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) Chairman Jan Čarnogurský jumped out of a plane for the seventh time in his life on June 6 when he leaped from a training biplane above Košice. The Minister had just completed a working visit to the General Milan Rastislav Štefanik Military Aviation Academy when he made the jump at a training facility of the Slovak National Aeroclub.
A group of six paratroopers and KDH Press and PR Director Milan Krajniak joined Čarnogurský, who praised the quality of the new "Student" brand training parachutes. Čarnogurský 's first five jumps came in the 1960's and his sixth in 1992 while he was premier of the Slovak government. On this adventure, he was reported to have touched ground last.


Dubnica nad Váhom
Mafia boss shot

The alleged leader of the Dubnica nad Vahom underworld, Jozef K., was shot and killed by an unknown man with a sub-machine gun shortly after 16:00 on June 7 as he was walking with another reputed mobster around the Pod Hajom housing area.
Jozef K., who had survived a previous assassination attempt, died at the scene. Jozef K.'s companion was seriously wounded, as were two passers-by.
The gunman was reported to have had accomplices, but they all fled the scene undetected. A police investigation has begun.


Bratislava
Slota wants Slovaks to "wake-up"

Ján Slota, chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS), called the pending approval of the Language Act "the first nail in the coffin of the sovereign and independent Slovakia" because of its "major concessions" to the Hungarian minority on June 7 at an SNS press conference in Bratislava. Slota then became the first person to sign a petition that would call for a referendum on the act, adding that he hoped the ordeal would serve to "wake the Slovak nation up".
Bernard Bagin, Secretary General of the Slovak National Youth, announced his group's support of the referendum and Slota added that the HZDS also supported the move. The SNS then threatened to create a list of people, organisations and political parties supporting the Act.


Trenčianske Teplice
Four die in stolen bus joy-ride

Four young men between the ages of 17 and 21 died and another was injured when the bus they had stolen crashed on a bridge and plummeted into the water below June 5, said Peter Pleva of the Interior Ministry. The bus-thieves had been drinking and driving in the vehicle, which they had stolen the day before from the front of its owner's house in the village of Omsenie.
The driver of the van was a 21-year-old-man from Dolna Poruba. The lone survivor, a 17-year-old boy with a high alcohol content in his breath, incurred "light injuries" and will be in hospital for a week. The local rescue service team pulled the four dead bodies and the bus from the water and estimated that around 300,000 crowns of damage was caused to the bus.


Nitra
Lexa smokes 50 cigarettes a day, gains 6 kilograms

Slovak Justice Minister Ján Čarnogurský visited former Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) Director and HZDS MP Ivan Lexa in the Nitra prison on June 2 to listen to the prisoner's complaints over the conditions of his imprisonment, which include sharing a cell with three other inmates as a result of a prison reconstruction expected to last a few weeks. Čarnogurský was unsympathetic and told Lexa that his conditions were equal to those of the other inmates and "even slightly better" concerning medical treatment.
Lexa's lawyers, however, said on June 8 that their client had been briefly hospitalised at the jail hospital in Trenčin, although they did not specify why. The press agency SITA reported that Lexa's condition is "not serious" - he is reported to have high blood pressure aggravated by the fact that since being incarcerated, he "has gained 6 kilograms, smokes 50 cigarettes a day, [hasn't] exercised and is concerned about his future".
Director General of the Correctional Officers Corps in Slovakia, Anton Fabry, also said that Lexa's health condition should not be taken seriously. Fabry refused to specify whether Lexa had been moved to hospital, saying "It is none of your business."


Compiled by Chris Togneri
from press reports

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