Arpád Soltész, a 28-year old reporter with a local daily newspaper Korzár, was beaten while using the men's room at the Caligula restaurant in Košice on May 9.
"I was just in the toilet when some man approached me from behind and hit me in the face," said Soltész to the Slovak daily paper Pravda, adding that after he fell to the floor, the assailant kicked him several times in the head and then escaped.
Soltézs said he believed that the unknown brawler was undoubtely a professional, and that the attack must be somehow connected with his work. "I don't owe money to anyone and I didn't steal anyone's girlfriend," Soltész explained.
Recently, Soltész has been writing stories about the eastern Slovak steel concern VSŽ Holding, which is why most of the Slovak media pointed the finger of blame at the giant firm. But Jozef Marko, VSŽ Holding spokesman, said the accusation was absurd, and Soltész himself said he felt sorry that VSŽ was being blamed for the incident. "If they wanted to kick me, they would use their own mediâthey would try to buy or discredit me instead," he explained.
Soltész said he believed that the assault may have had to do with a story about the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) that he is currently working on. "I would say that there is an 80% chance that it was because of the story I'm preparing. It has not been published yet, because I don't have enough evidence," he said, adding that over the past couple of weeks he has received strange phone calls from unknown people, who asked him about his personal plans.
SIS spokesman Miroslav Šášky refused to comment on the incident, saying that it was not SIS's responsibility to react to every such attack. "Should [the SIS] react to all these fits of persecution mania, we wouldn't be doing anything else," he said.
21. May 1998 at 0:00 | Slavomír Danko