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Fico’s former adviser Machala involved in scuffle with writer Janovic

A former adviser of Prime Minister Robert Fico, Drahoslav Machala, 64, reportedly attacked, both verbally and physically, writer Tomáš Janovic, 76, and his wife on Wednesday, April 18. Janovic reported the incident to police; a witness, Ľuboš Holič, confirmed his account. According to Holič, Machala attacked Janovic in Bratislava's central SNP Square.

A former adviser of Prime Minister Robert Fico, Drahoslav Machala, 64, reportedly attacked, both verbally and physically, writer Tomáš Janovic, 76, and his wife on Wednesday, April 18. Janovic reported the incident to police; a witness, Ľuboš Holič, confirmed his account. According to Holič, Machala attacked Janovic in Bratislava's central SNP Square.

Janovic said, as quoted by the Sme daily, that he had already been knocked to the ground when he saw his wife fall. Marián Béber, a postal employee, said he helped Machala to his feet only for the latter to push Mrs Janovicová to the ground. Béber said he did not see how the whole incident began. The couple went to hospital, where Mrs Janovicová underwent a CT scan of her head. Apart from bruises, no other injuries were observed.

Machala, who was a communist-era journalist and reportedly an agent of the ŠtB secret police until 1989, denied having assaulted Janovic in comments to the TASR newswire. A security camera near the Main Post Office on SNP Square recorded the incident, and police are said to be reviewing the recording. Janovic said that Machala has, for no reason, been calling him rude names for years, and did so again on Wednesday.

According to a report in Sme, the Government Office does not intend to re-appoint Machala as an adviser to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Sources: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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