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Lawyer dies in car explosion

LAWYER Marek Rakovský died in a car explosion in the town of Žiar nad Hronom on July 2, with Police President Tibor Gašpar saying that an explosive device was probably placed directly under the driver’s seat, the Sme daily reported. The National Criminal Agency is investigating the death of Rakovský, 29, an independent deputy of Žiar nad Hronom, as a homicide.

LAWYER Marek Rakovský died in a car explosion in the town of Žiar nad Hronom on July 2, with Police President Tibor Gašpar saying that an explosive device was probably placed directly under the driver’s seat, the Sme daily reported. The National Criminal Agency is investigating the death of Rakovský, 29, an independent deputy of Žiar nad Hronom, as a homicide.

Town spokesperson Martin Baláž said that the car explosion shocked the city’s inhabitants because there was nothing to indicate that the deputy had any problems, according to the SITA newswire. Gašpar delivered a similar statement.

“He does not have any criminal past and has never been linked to any organised [crime] or mafia groups,” Gašpar said as quoted by Sme.

Meanwhile, the police, who remained tight-lipped about further details of the case, have encouraged the public to report any information which might help the investigation.

“[Anybody] who has seen the explosion or has related information should turn to the police personally or call the number 158,” said Slovak Police Presidium spokesperson Andrea Dobiášová, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

According to Sme, Rakovský was a member of the Slovak Bar Association. Head of the association Ľubomír Hrežďovič said that the growing number of attacks on lawyers is alarming. However, it is not yet known whether the tragedy is in any way linked to his work as lawyer, Sme reported.

Lawyer stabbed to death earlier this year

Lawyer Ľubica Kolesárová died after being stabbed repeatedly in a particularly vicious attack committed on a public street in the Bratislava suburb of Karlova Ves in April. Kolesárová, who had worked on the defence team representing Mikuláš Vareha, aka the Lord of Zemplín, in a high-profile tax fraud case, died in hospital.

Early evidence suggested that robbery was unlikely to have been the motive for the attack since none of her personal belongings appeared to be missing. Shortly after the attack Gašpar said that the murder might have been related to her work, Sme reported.

“The police heard her [testimony] in certain cases as a witness and this might have a connection [with the murder], but there are several theories,” Gašpar said, as quoted by Sme.

Kolesárová’s murder prompted Sme to inquire about the status of the investigation into the murder of another prominent Slovak lawyer, Ernest Valko, who was found shot dead in his house in Limbach, near Bratislava, on November 8, 2010. The death of Valko, who served as deputy speaker of the lower house of the Czechoslovak federal parliament in 1990-1991, and in 1992 was chosen as the top official of the Czechoslovak Constitutional Court, shocked Slovak society. The circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear.

In a brief interview with Sme, Gašpar said that the only thing that the two murders have in common is that both the victims were lawyers. He added that the Valko murder investigation had not reached a stage at which charges can be brought against any suspect.

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