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Case of alleged illegal sterilisation of Roma women closed

PROSECUTORS have once and for all closed the much discussed case of the alleged illegal sterilisation of Roma women dating back to 2003.

PROSECUTORS have once and for all closed the much discussed case of the alleged illegal sterilisation of Roma women dating back to 2003.

The Prosecutor's Office in Košice dismissed a complaint filed by the official representative of Ingrid G., Renáta H. and Magdaléna K. against the decision of the investigator to halt a criminal investigation into the case, the SITA newswire wrote on February 26.

"The police and the Prosecutor's Office came to the conclusion that no criminal act was committed, so the decision to halt the criminal investigation is correct. The results of the investigation indicate that the sterilisations were always voluntary and conducted when life or health was endangered," said Milan Filičko, the spokesperson for the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Košice.

The investigation into the alleged forced sterilisations, and accusations of genocide, started in 2003. Reportedly, physicians in Krompachy Hospital's gynecological-obstetrics department, as well as in other hospitals in Slovakia, forced the Roma women to undergo unnecessary sterilisation without their consent. The cases allegedly numbered 28.

But an investigation team set up by the Health Ministry discovered that all patients sterilised between 1999 and 2002 had signed a document requesting the procedure. All requests were reviewed and approved by relevant committees. Therefore, the case was closed in 2003.

However, an official representative of Ingrid G., Renáta H. and Magdaléna K. turned to the Constitutional Court, which in January 2007 ordered the Prosecution Office in Košice to reopen the investigation.

The Constitutional Court stated in its decision that prosecutors had insufficient justification for halting the investigation.

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