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Slovak court sentences Mikuláš Černák to life imprisonment for six murders

Prešov District Court on Tuesday, November 10, found alleged organised crime boss Mikuláš Černák, from Banská Bystrica, guilty on six counts of murder and one of planning another killing. The court sentenced him to life imprisonment, the TASR newswire reported

Prešov District Court on Tuesday, November 10, found alleged organised crime boss Mikuláš Černák, from Banská Bystrica, guilty on six counts of murder and one of planning another killing. The court sentenced him to life imprisonment, the TASR newswire reported

Ćernák, who has appealed against the sentence, was charged with the murders of Jozef Filip, Jozef Štefan, Pavol Lenhart, Milan Sipos, Emil Potasch and Gustáv Slivenský. The murders are believed to have been related to score-settling within the Slovak underworld in the 1990s. In addition, Černák allegedly ordered the murder of Marian Karcel from jail via his former brother-in-law Jozef M. and advocate Daniel M. The court on Tuesday also sentenced Jozef M. to 12 years in prison.

The court case began in November 2008, with almost 70 witnesses and experts appearing before the court. Ćernák refused to give testimony to begin with, only changing his mind in March, when the trial was approaching its end. Members of the public were not allowed to be present in court during his testimony. In his closing speech, Černák confessed to taking part in the murder of Jozef Filip, who was shot dead near Liptovská Teplička (Žilina Region) in 1994. He said that he regretted the killing, adding that he is ashamed of his criminal past. He denied any involvement in the other murders, however. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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