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ATM thieves freed due to procedural mistake

TWO men prosecuted in the case of an organised group stealing ATM machines were set free on November 4 after the judge assigned to the case made a procedural mistake.

TWO men prosecuted in the case of an organised group stealing ATM machines were set free on November 4 after the judge assigned to the case made a procedural mistake.

District Judge Juraj Mihál was late sending documents of the case to his colleagues at the Bratislava Regional Court, the TASR newswire reported.

The two courts are located in the same building.

Judge Mihál ruled to prolong the imprisonment of the two men, but they appealed against his ruling and thus the higher instance court was to decide on the imprisonment. Since the judge failed to send the documentation to the Regional Court on time, however, the deadline passed and the Regional Court had to release them.

Slovak police detained and charged members of the organised gang alleged to have stolen cash machines across Slovakia in 2011. Ten people were charged with theft, damaging and threatening the operation of a communal facility, and violating freedom.

The people charged are alleged to have committed at least five ATM thefts in Slovakia, causing damage amounting to hundreds of thousands of euros both to the banks concerned and the municipalities where the ATMs were located. If convicted, those charged face sentences of 10 to 15 years in jail.

The Justice Ministry is reportedly dealing with the judge’s mistake.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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