WAS HEDVIGA Malinová attacked in Nitra in 2006 or not? While the General Prosecutor’s Office claims to have wrapped up its investigation into the infamous case that has poured so much fuel onto the fiery Slovak-Hungarian relations of the time, it still has not publicly answered this question.
“The efforts of the general prosecutor to secure the investigation in this criminal issue to be wrapped up by the end of 2013 were fulfilled,” General Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Andrea Predajňová confirmed for The Slovak Spectator.
The General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) now considers the investigation closed, as the deadline that was set for all persons whom it concerns to study the file has passed, Predajňová said. The next step in the case will depend on whether any of the parties involved propose any additions to the investigation.
General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár pledged to wrap up the case by the end of 2013, making it one of his offices’ priorities after he took up the post last year, admitting that the investigation has dragged on unreasonably long.
Malinová (who has married since the alleged attack and now goes by the name of Žáková) was charged with perjury in 2007 and her case has been pending with the GPO ever since. The case began progressing again only in the second half of 2013, after it was assigned to a new prosecutor. The GPO requested further medical examinations of Malinová.
In August 2006 Malinová, a Hungarian-speaking Slovak citizen, reported that she had been assaulted on her way to a university exam in Nitra. The police said that their investigation into the case, involving over 250 officers and interviews with 600 people, led them to conclude that the assault never occurred.
The police’s findings were released in September 2006, at a press conference by then interior minister Robert Kaliňák and then prime minister Robert Fico (both of whom currently hold the same positions), with Kaliňák stating “it is beyond doubt that the case did not happen”. He presented several pieces of evidence that he said backed his claim, including DNA samples. Kaliňák later went on to denounce Malinová as a “pathological liar”. Malinová was charged in May 2007 with perjury and making false claims. However, the charges have yet to be presented before a court.
Now that the GPO claims the investigation is over, it should be able to make the final decision on the case. The prosecutor who was assigned the case set the date for evaluating the investigation file for January 21-23, 2014, according to Predajňová. Malinová and her attorney are entitled to take part in the process too. The prosecutor will then decide whether to put Malinová through a court trial, or whether the perjury charges will be dropped.
Problematic medical reports
The additional medical reports that the prosecutor requested have raised some concerns, especially after the information was published that the most recent forensic report, delivered in December 2013, was written by Boris Lisánsky, an orthopaedist.
Malinová’s attorney Roman Kvasnica deemed it “non-standard” that an orthopaedist should be involved rather than a traumatologist.
“It is shocking that an orthopaedist is evaluating a brain concussion,” Kvasnica told the Sme daily.
When asked about why an orthopaedist was selected for delivering the report, as well as about the report’s details, the GPO declined to comment.
Kvasnica claimed that in the report the expert does not take into consideration the findings of the doctors who treated Malinová immediately after the alleged attack.
Much like the previous controversial medical report from 2009, the most recent report, authored by Lisánsky, does not support Malinová’s claim that she was attacked in 2006.
“I consider the physical assault as it was described in the statements of the accused Hedviga Malinová improbable and construed,” Lisánsky wrote in his report, as quoted by Sme.
Lisánsky claims Malinová’s only unquestionable injury was her injured lower lip, but added that the injury might have been self-inflicted, Sme reported. Lisánsky also questions a fact that he said is “hard to understand”. Malinová claimed she was bleeding from the nose after the attack, but there were no traces of blood on the scene, nor any blood-stained napkins she needed to use to stop her nose from bleeding. This, according to Lisánsky, is strange, given the fact that nose bleeding usually tends to be intensive, Sme reported.
The GPO also requested further psychiatric reporting in the case, which provoked a dispute between the authorities and Malinová’s attorney. The district court in Nitra issued the order for a psychiatric review based on a motion from the prosecutor’s office, which posed 15 questions to the psychiatric experts, such as whether Malinová suffered from a mental disorder in August 2006. The court stated the purpose of the review was to verify the findings of Malinová’s doctors, László Sárközy and Jozef Hašto, made shortly after the attack.
Malinová and Kvasnica objected, saying that the prosecutors were seeking to examine her mental state in 2006 even though the court order only deals with Malinová’s current state of mental health, Sme reported in June 2012. (Read also: Psychiatric community willing to back Malinová)
Malinová finally attended a psychiatric examination in December 2013, but the doctor who was assigned to examine her, psychiatric forensic expert Miroslav Čerňan, did not do so, arguing that she felt pressured, Sme reported.
“I was ready to answer their questions, but they refused,” Malinová told Sme.
The GPO in the end gave up on the psychiatric examination, Kvasnica told Sme.
Malinová now a Hungarian citizen
Malinová however said she has had enough of living with the constant questions and silent pressure her case has caused, and decided to leave the country with her family. She requested and received Hungarian citizenship at the end of 2013, and revealed her plans to move to the Hungarian town of Győr.
Under Slovak law, by receiving the Hungarian passport she forfeits her Slovak citizenship.
“I am not escaping from the police investigation and the possible court proceeding; I want to protect my children from police harassment,” Malinová told the Hungarian daily Új Szó.
The Malinová case
August 26, 2006
Hedviga Malinová reported to have been assaulted by an unknown offender in Nitra on her way to the university after she was overheard speaking Hungarian on her mobile phone. The police opened a criminal prosecution against the unknown offender.
September 11, 2006
The police halted the criminal prosecution in the case, arguing that the attack did not occur.
September 12, 2006
Prime Minister Robert Fico and Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák held a press conference revealing police findings in the case. Kaliňák called Malinová a “pathological liar”.
November 10, 2006
Police received a criminal complaint accusing Malinová of perjury.
December 15, 2006
Malinová filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, accusing the police and the prosecution of violating her human rights. The court rejected the complaint, calling it premature, as she had not used all available legal tools yet.
May 14, 2007
Police charged Malinová with perjury.
September 24, 2007
General Prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka established a special team to deal with the case after he admitted that the police and the prosecution made some mistakes during the investigation.
The last missing forensic report was delivered to the prosecution. It supports the opinion that the assault did not happen as described by Malinová. It was signed by Comenius University medical school’s Dean Peter Labaš. Controversial circumstances of how the report was written led the prosecution to request that Labaš re-write it. This was delivered only in May 2011.
Hedviga Malinová attended an appointment for a psychiatric examination, but the doctor refused to examine her, saying she was under pressure.
Hedviga Malinová was granted Hungarian citizenship and announced she was moving with her family to Győr, Hungary.
The General Prosecutor’s Office stated that the investigation of the case was closed. The decision about whether the prosecution will press charges against Malinová is expected after the final evaluation of the files on January 21-23, 2014.
Source: hedviga.fair-play.sk, TSS archive
21. Jan 2014 at 0:00 | Michaela Terenzani