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Malinová case: Trnka appears before MPs, refuses to answer questions

Coalition MPs from parliament's human rights committee held a session to look into the long-running case of the alleged assault of Hedviga Malinová on Thursday, May 5, but the results were inconclusive. The deputies had sought new information from acting general prosecutor Ladislav Tichý, but he instead sent his deputy, Dobroslav Trnka.

Coalition MPs from parliament's human rights committee held a session to look into the long-running case of the alleged assault of Hedviga Malinová on Thursday, May 5, but the results were inconclusive. The deputies had sought new information from acting general prosecutor Ladislav Tichý, but he instead sent his deputy, Dobroslav Trnka.

Trnka, who was general prosecutor at the time of the Malinová case, told the MPs that he could not tell them anything about the case, as he had not yet had his "obligation to remain silent" lifted. He would only confirm that the General Prosecutor's Office had received an expert opinion on the Malinová case which would be delivered to Malinová's lawyer "after the office acquaints itself with its contents". Most-Híd MP and member of the Civic Conservative Party faction Peter Zajac asked Trnka several direct questions, as quoted by the TASR newswire: “Why did the General Prosecutor's Office not take away the job of drawing up the expert opinion from Peter Labaš after it emerged that he hadn't taken the requisite vow to present expert testimony? Why did the General Prosecutor's Office then return the opinion to him [Labaš] for completion, even though there were no new facts? Is it normal for an evaluator [Labaš] to make public statements to the media while under obligation to keep the information confidential? Trnka did not respond to any of Zajac's questions.

Zajac subsequently proposed that MPs oblige Tichý to appear in person before the committee to answer questions, but his initiative received only five out of ten votes and was not, therefore, adopted. According to a recent report by the Aktualne.sk news website, Labaš concluded in his expert opinion that Hedviga Malinová had not been assaulted at all. When approached by Aktualne.sk, Labaš declined to reveal the details of his findings.

Malinová was allegedly beaten up by two unknown men in Nitra in 2006 after they heard her speaking in Hungarian on her mobile phone. Photographs of her severely bruised face and body were later published in Slovak newspapers. However, the police investigation was dropped shortly after she reported the attack, with then-interior minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) publicly announcing that no assault had taken place and that Malinová had made the whole story up. Malinová was later accused of providing false testimony, but no case against her or her alleged attackers has ever been brought. Public officials have consistently failed to explain what, if any, progress has been made in the case or why it remains unresolved after almost five years.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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