Prisoners have been stopped from leaving Slovak jails on extraordinary bonus leave or days off, Justice and Prison Guard Department (ZVJS) general director Robert Mudronček said at a press conference on Thursday, October 7. He was speaking after a convict, Ľuboš Kračuník, 39, left Prešov Prison on extraordinary leave on October 6 but then absconded. While on the run he is believed to have raped a 14-year-old child and sexually assaulted a female receptionist at a hotel in Rožňava (Košice Region).
"I've given orders to all prison directors to immediately suspend the issuing of all extraordinary leave for convicts, including days off and bonus leave," Mudronček said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The suspension will be in place until systematic measures are introduced so as to minimise the risk of other convicts escaping.
Before taking action, Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) stressed that she needs a complete report first in order to determine who is responsible for Kračuník's escape. "I'm convinced that we have a problem within the system, as no clear rules exist on the conditions under which convicts can be allowed out of jail. That's why we've agreed to address the issue this way," said Žitňanská. She added that the system will need to be modified in order to minimise similar security risks in the future. According to Žitňanská, Kračuník was let out because the system allows for special bonus leave.
"The problem is that no set of clear rules exist to determine when it's appropriate for the prison director to grant such leave," she said. Also, she added, it is not clear which groups of convicts should be excluded from the policy. When asked if she did not think her proposed measures were arriving somewhat late, Žitňanská replied that measures can be applied only after a flaw within the system is discovered. "Mr. Mudronček was appointed to his post on October 1. After the past four years [i.e. the term of the previous government], ZVJS needs to be stabilised and the rules re-set from scratch. I'm sorry about what happened, but the general director enjoys my full confidence," she said.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
8. Oct 2010 at 10:00