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Presiding judge dies in VUB burglary case

THE COURT trial in the case of the largest-ever bank burglary in Slovakia, in which six men are on trial for stealing millions of Slovak crowns from the Nitra branch of VUB Banka in western Slovakia in 1996, was not held as scheduled on June 29 at the Nitra Regional Court because the presiding judge, Miroslav Šupa, unexpectedly died, the SITA newswire reported. The court must now assign a new judge to the case.

THE COURT trial in the case of the largest-ever bank burglary in Slovakia, in which six men are on trial for stealing millions of Slovak crowns from the Nitra branch of VUB Banka in western Slovakia in 1996, was not held as scheduled on June 29 at the Nitra Regional Court because the presiding judge, Miroslav Šupa, unexpectedly died, the SITA newswire reported. The court must now assign a new judge to the case.

The prosecution delivered the charges against the suspects to the court in 2000. The trial itself started only on June 15, 2009, more than 13 years after the theft. Court hearings have repeatedly been postponed due to absence of defendants or their lawyers and only two court hearings were actually held.

The biggest bank theft in the history of Slovakia was committed on the night of Saturday, January 6 in 1996. A total of Sk173 million (over €5.7 million) disappeared from the bank’s vaults and the money has never been found.

Six men have been accused of the theft – Igor S., Bohus S., Gustav I., Julius B., Pavel K. and Viliam M. In addition, Igor S. is accused of fraud and Gustav I. of embezzlement. None of the accused is in custody at this time and two of them work abroad. Bohus S. and Igor S. were in pre-trial custody from July 31, 1999 to January 28, 2000 and Gustav I., Pavel K. and Julius B. were also behind bars for some time. Viliam M. has never been in custody.

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