NEWS BRIEFS

'The Cleaner' goes on trial

A MAJOR court case has begun in east Slovakia's Prešov against an alleged Mafia hitman known as 'the Cleaner', who is charged with three 1997 murders and is said to have disposed of some bodies by dissolving them in acid.

Alojz Kromka, who has eight convictions on his police record, is best known for allegedly having gunned down Žilina crime boss Milan Holáň ('the Gorilla') and his bodyguard in that city's Astoria Hotel in November 1997.

Kromka was arrested in October 1998 by Czech police while trying to cross the border into Austria on a false passport. He has been in jail since.

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