A policeman and a civilian were killed after a seven-time repeat offender only referred to as Ladislav B. helped rob an exchange office in Levice (Nitra region) on August 4, the TASR newswire wrote.
Ladislav and a second man were detained by police shortly after the shooting, and the incident is currently being investigated. If convicted, they could face 25 years to life in prison.
It began when Ivan R. walked into police headquarters in Klačany (Trnava region) on August 3 to say that he had been asked by Ladislav B. to accompany him in robbing the exchange office.
The police hatched a plan, wherein Ivan R. was to go along with the offer, and policeman Robert V. was to be his accomplice. Meanwhile, other police officers were at the ready to arrest the culprits during a subsequent rendezvous. The policeman and Ivan R. then robbed the office before it opened on August 3, and joined Ladislav in his car afterwards. Ladislav B. drove the men to a gas station in Levice, where they were to meet Martin S. (the kingpin who ordered the robbery) and hand over the stolen money.
Things went awry when Martin S. didn't show up. The three men continued on their way and after about 400 metres, a conflict ensued between Ladislav B. and Ivan R. that ended with the policeman and Ivan R. being shot and killed. At that point, police converged and detained Ladislav B. and the car. Several hours later, they were able to find and arrest Martin S.
"We are investigating why the policeman didn't obey orders," said Regional police chief Ján Stark.
He had been ordered not to enter the car after the robbery but did, and police are now trying to determine whether he was forced to do so. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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5. Aug 2008 at 7:00