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Karol Mello’s attorney comments on extortion charges against his client

After being one of Slovakia’s longest most-wanted men, Karol Mello is facing not only charges of murder but also extortion in Slovakia. Nevertheless, the Trnava District Court cannot proceed against Mello on the extortion charge as a Polish court has refused to release Mello for prosecution in this particular case, said Mello's lawyer, Peter Schimdl, to the TASR newswire. Schimdl said the reason is that the rights of the defendant were violated when the Trnava Court made Schmidl, who served as Mello's lawyer at the time, a witness in the case and assigned a new defence lawyer to Mello. Schimdl deemed this a violation of the law and sued and the Constitutional Court agreed with him.

After being one of Slovakia’s longest most-wanted men, Karol Mello is facing not only charges of murder but also extortion in Slovakia. Nevertheless, the Trnava District Court cannot proceed against Mello on the extortion charge as a Polish court has refused to release Mello for prosecution in this particular case, said Mello's lawyer, Peter Schimdl, to the TASR newswire.

Schimdl said the reason is that the rights of the defendant were violated when the Trnava Court made Schmidl, who served as Mello's lawyer at the time, a witness in the case and assigned a new defence lawyer to Mello. Schimdl deemed this a violation of the law and sued and the Constitutional Court agreed with him.

The charges Mello faces involve, but are not limited to tax evasion, extortion and grievous bodily harm. From 1996 to 1999, along with eight other men who are being prosecuted as well, Mello allegedly engaged in extortion, threatening persons with cutting off their ears, knee-capping and murdering family members.

Mello was arrested in Poland in October 2010 after being at large for five years. He is also charged with the murder of a woman and a ten-year-old boy, whom he allegedly shot near Bratislava in late 2004. Mello's actual target was supposed to be a former policeman.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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