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Controversial businessman killed by hit men

SLOVAK police are searching for two unknown culprits who killed controversial Slovak businessman Jozef Svoboda in Bratislava's Podunajské Biskupice district on June 28.

The two hit men killed Svoboda, a 48-year-old former wrestler alleged to have close relations to Bratislava's underworld, with three shots in the head at around 11:30.

The special office for organised crime is investigating the murder and its motives, a police spokesperson told the TASR news wire.

After his return from emigration in Sweden following the 1989 fall of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia, Svoboda started casino, bar, and security service operations in Slovakia.

His group controlled a number of bars and restaurants in Bratislava's centre and was considered one of the strongest in Bratislava. According to a police expert on organised crime, however, the activities of the group were "more legal" than those of the other mafia groups operating in the Slovak capital.

Svoboda was also known for his close contacts with some Slovak politicians and contributed considerably to a financial collection to support the emerging independent Slovakia in 1993.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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