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Around Slovakia

Officers caught smuggling smokes
14-year-old admits to killing mate
Woman orders husband's murder on debt
Trams on sale
Life in a tree house
Son and partner torture mother
Scroll around the world in the capital
Billboards warn careless drivers

Jablonov nad Turňou
Officers caught smuggling smokes

CUSTOMS officers detained two policemen smuggling almost 6,000 packages of cigarettes worth Sk119,600 (€2, 992) from Ukraine to Slovakia on May 16.
Customs Directorate spokeswoman Silvia Balázsiková told media that the policemen were caught at the Slovak-Ukrainian border crossing near the village of Jablonov nad Turňou. According to the investigation, the two were brothers and both had served as policemen for several years.
The police inspection authority will deal with the case.
The older brother, named only as Milan A, 27, said that he knew nothing about the cigarettes in the car, driven by his brother, Radovan A, 26.
According to the private news agency SITA, the successful smuggling of the cigarettes to Slovakia would have resulted in customs and tax evasions reaching Sk314,488 (€7,866).


Rakúsy
14-year-old admits to killing mate

14-YEAR-OLD Peter M admitted to killing his 12-year-old schoolmate, Bystrík M, from the village of Rakúsy.
Police arrested the youth on May 18 based on information from a secret source that told the officers that Peter M had blood stains on his shirt. DNA tests proved that the blood belonged to the victim, and although Peter M initially denied involvement in the murder, he later admitted to the brutal act, the Slovak daily Nový Čas wrote. According to the currently available findings there was no apparent reason for the act. "[He acted as if he] ran amok," a police source told the daily.
Teachers in Peter M's school described him as a quiet boy and his parents could not believe that their son could ever do such a thing.
"My baby, my baby, I don't believe it," Peter's mother Darina M, 42, cried.
"I will go mad because of this," added Peter's father Pavol M, 43. "Peter was an obedient, good boy. He once saw me cutting a chicken's throat and wouldn't touch chicken meat after that."
According to the police findings, Peter M killed Bystrík M on April 26 at about seven in the evening near the fence of the local agricultural farm. Doctors found seven stab wounds in the victim's body, of which five were in the back.
Because he is too young, Peter M will not be criminally prosecuted.


Bánovce nad Bebravou
Woman orders husband's murder on debt

OFFICERS arrested a 24-year-old woman from Bánovce nad Bebravou in the Trenčín region, who ordered the murder of her husband in order to get his money.
Because she had no money herself to pay for the murder, she had signed a debtor declaration to the prospective murderer pledging to pay the person Sk150,000 (€3,752) when she received her husband's money.
The private news agency SITA wrote that the woman was unlucky enough that the alleged prospective murderer was in fact a police agent.



IF anybody is interested in a 1980s tram, contact the Košice's transporation company.
photo: SME - Veronika Janušková

Košice
Trams on sale

THE CITY of Košice is selling 15 trams for which it no longer has any use.
Head of the Košice's transportation company Igor Reiprich said that the trams are excessive, as the firm has been cutting lines.
"While in 1992 our vehicles drove 23 million kilometres, last year it was just 17 million," Reiprich told the Slovak daily SME.
The trams were offered to transportation firms in surrounding countries including Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Thus far no one is interested.
Reiprich said that the trams are 20 years old and still usable.


Prešov
Life in a tree house

A HOMELESS man from the eastern Slovak town of Prešov who lost his job and his flat seven years ago found a way out of his misery by building a modest tree house in a forest near the town.
According to the Slovak daily Nový Čas, Miloslav, 55, a former railway worker, lived for a while with his sister and later with his mother.
"I did not want to cause trouble to my relatives, and charity [boarding], is not for me," Miloslav told the daily.
He then decided to build the tree house.
Despite his situation, he is not giving up on his life and regularly visits the local library to study literature about transportation systems.
Miloslav, who lives on Sk1,500 (€38) in social benefits per month, however, is worried about what will happen when winter comes.
"I have tried to insulate the tree house so that it is possible to live in it even if freezing cold, but if it falls to -3 Celsius, I don't know if I will be able to get through that," he said.


Čeľovce
Son and partner torture mother

MÁRIA I, 78, from the eastern Slovak village of Čeľovce, near the city of Košice, could not stand the constant beating from her son and his partner, and told the local police of her sufferings.
According to the Slovak daily SME, the retired woman had been quiet about the beatings for years, and no one from the village helped her, despite some locals' admissions that the beatings were an open secret.
"The whole village knew about it. She often had bruises and it was clear that, behind the closed door of her house, terrible things must have been happening," one inhabitant of Čeľovce told the daily.
The old woman's son Pavol I, 53, and his partner, Pavlína P, 43, are held responsible and are under police investigation. If convicted they could face up to 10 years in jail.



BRATISLAVA children display that they are "living well" in their city on a 25-metre long scroll.
photo: SME - Veronika Janušková

Bratislava
Scroll around the world in the capital

CHILDREN of Bratislava on May 17 drew their environmental message on a scroll that will travel around the world, encouraging children to care for their environment and their health.
The event was organised by the French group, Veolia Environnement, which invited children of various world cities to draw their message on the scroll, which reads, "Living well in our city".
Following its world tour, the scroll will be exhibited at the Pasteur Institute in Paris on June 17 and 18, 2004.
The scroll started its tour in France and will travel to a total of 24 cities in Asia, Australia, North America, Europe, and North Africa.
According to the private news agency SITA, the scroll is a total of 25 metres long, and children of each of the participating cities have a strip that is 80 centimetres long to draw their message.
After Bratislava, the scroll moves on to Budapest, Hungary.


Nitra
Billboards warn careless drivers

THE DISTRICT transport inspectorate has started a pilot campaign appealing to motorists to drive safely.
To warn drivers of careless driving it has put up posters near the problematic sections of certain roads, showing a photo of a real car crash in which one person died. The poster says that careless driving endangers life and health. The text will later be changed depending on the season of the year. In autumn the current text will be changed to an appeal to drivers to turn on their headlights and to switch to winter tires.
"It is a non-standard preventive technique, but I think there's never enough prevention," the head of the transport inspectorate Jozef Andraško told the SME.
Police are hoping to cut down the number of car accidents with this new measure. Since the start of the year, this area has had an increase of 50 accidents when compared to the same period last year, police said.

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