The police have charged the former leader of Slovak extremist organisation Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness), Marian Kotleba, of supporting and promoting groups that aim to suppress basic rights and freedoms, Bratislava Police Office spokesperson Tatiana Kurucová told the TASR newswire on March 15.
Kotleba was a co-organiser of a march by nationalists in Bratislava on March 14 to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the wartime fascist Slovak state (1939-45). The march was broken up, however, and Kotleba was arrested for calling out “Na Stráž!”(On Guard!), which, accompanied by a raised-arm salute, was used by the Hlinka Guard [an official fascist paramilitary organisation operating under the wartime state that was responsible for internal security - ed. note].
“He’s been prosecuted on bail,” said Kurucová, adding that if found guilty, Kotleba could be sentenced from 6 months to 3 years in jail. The police arrested another ten people during the march, but they have all been released. Another woman, a Czech citizen, was arrested before the march itself began for the same offence as Kotleba. No one was harmed during the police intervention, stressed Kurucová in response to allegations that Kotleba’s arm was broken. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.