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Court sends Slovakia’s first eco-terrorist behind bars for 25 years

THE FIRST Slovak to be convicted of terrorism is 33-year-old Ladislav K. from Košice.

THE FIRST Slovak to be convicted of terrorism is 33-year-old Ladislav K. from Košice.

The Košice I district court sentenced Ladislav K. to 25 years in prison for the serious crime of terrorism and other related crimes on June 19, 2013. The convict is to serve his sentence in a maximum security prison. Ladislav K.’s attorney appealed the verdict, saying that the court did not take into consideration the psychological issues of her client, the SITA newswire reported.

The court found Ladislav K. guilty on 10 counts, saying he intended to seriously threaten the population of the city and to force the government to take measures that would limit the killing of animals.

Speaking in front of the court, Ladislav K. argued that he wanted to prevent the killing of innocent animals and that he hoped his actions would secure him media attention, the Sme daily reported. To that end, he created an organisation called Animals Rights Army, and alleged to be its member. He said he was also seeking revenge for the death of his dog.

The charges include the claim that since 2009, Ladislav K. had been attempting to design weapons and explosives at his temporary residence in Košice, using various components, such as fireworks and gas lighters, among other things. According to the charges, Ladislav K. sent threatening letters and explosive materials to a veterinarian in Košice, threatening to kill him. Similar threats were sent as anonymous letters to the administrative headquarters of the Tesco retail chain. The letters were signed ‘Animals Rights Army’.

Ladislav K. was also found guilty of causing an explosion, which occurred on December 28, 2011, in front of a fast-food restaurant in Košice. It was the investigation of this explosion that actually led to the police’s discovery of the identity of Ladislav K. The investigators found the bomb’s timer, which carried the mark of the producer, who revealed that it was Ladislav K. who had purchased the timer. During a subsequent search of Ladislav K.’s parents’ house, the police found large quantities of explosives and weapons, Sme reported.

Based on the reports of forensic criminalists, sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists, the prosecutors charged Ladislav K. with crimes falling under two categories: the particularly serious crime of terrorism, and the crime of carrying concealed weapons.

As Slovakia has no forensic expert on terrorism, the expert report was delivered by Ivo Svoboda from the University of Defence in Brno, who claimed that the actions of the convict showed signs of extremism and eco-terrorism, SITA reported.

“This verdict should discourage potential perpetrators from similar criminal activities,” the head of the senate said when delivering the ruling, as quoted by Sme.

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