Karol Mello, until recently Slovakia's most wanted criminal, who is accused of the double murder of a woman and a 10-year-old boy in Most (Bratislava Region) in 2004, was released from custody by the Bratislava Regional Court on Thursday, May 19.
The Regional Court cancelled the verdict of the Bratislava District Court from May 9, according to which Mello, who was recently extradited from Poland (where he was apprehended), had to remain in custody. "The court decided that the legal conditions defined under the Criminal Code for the District Court to deprive the accused repeatedly of his personal freedom weren't met, as he had already been released with respect to the same case once," Regional Court spokesperson Pavol Adamčiak told the TASR newswire. Mello is charged with extortion as well murder.
The court decisions in the case of Mello represent a slap in the face to justice and a mockery of victims, Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)) told a press briefing following Mello's release on Thursday. He said the decision to release Mello from custody was absurd. "It is absurd of the Regional Court to render the custody null and void first, and subsequently rule that the second custody represents a repeated custody, when the first one was actually nullified," he said. "How long will we tolerate such unlawful rulings by the courts?" he then asked.
Lipšic said that the case of Karol Mello was a textbook one in terms of the need for the accused to remain in custody, as Mello is charged with an extremely brutal crime and previously went on the run for several years.
Mello's attorney Peter Schmidl told the SITA newswire that the court ruled as a result of a proposal by the defence team.
Sources: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
20. May 2011 at 10:00