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GP questions mild punishments

A REVIEW of the botched investigation into last year’s neo-Nazi attack on patrons of the Mariatchi Bar in Nitra has led to punishment for the prosecutors but not for the police officers involved in the case.

A REVIEW of the botched investigation into last year’s neo-Nazi attack on patrons of the Mariatchi Bar in Nitra has led to punishment for the prosecutors but not for the police officers involved in the case.

Nitra regional prosecutor Vojtech Ernest reproached the two prosecutors for elementary violation of duties, the mildest form of disciplinary punishment the regional prosecutor can administer without discussing it with a disciplinary committee, the TASR newswire reported.

The reprimands came after General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár criticised the Nitra prosecutors in early February before the parliamentary committee for security and defence over their handling of two attacks, in October 2013 and January 2014. They came only after the media reported on them and published a video from the municipal security camera that recorded the earlier incident.

Čižnár “will investigate what reflections led the regional prosecutor to thinking that the measures he took are sufficient”, said the General Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman, Andrea Predajňová, as quoted by the Sme daily, adding that Čižnár is going to request a meeting with the regional prosecutor soon and seek an explanation.

Sme broke the story about the neo-Nazi attack on January 28, when it published the video footage showing a group of people attacking customers of the Mariatchi bar, a popular student hangout in downtown Nitra. The alleged assailants kicked one victim in the head repeatedly and the incident was reportedly just one in a series of similar attacks.

On New Year’s Eve, customers were attacked by neo-Nazis from Walhala, a neighbouring club. Though officially listed as a “private card-playing club”, according to Mariatchi owner Radovan Richtárik, it is a pub whose clientele regularly gets drunk and misbehaves, as reported by Sme. Richtárik’s leg was broken in the New Year’s Eve assault.

Though the first attack was recorded via the town’s street cameras and the attackers’ faces are visible, the police waited until after Sme broke the story to charge the alleged perpetrators.
Sme also reported that none of the police officers involved in the case were punished.

“No shortcoming by authorised police officers was found during the investigation of the case,” Interior Ministry spokesman Ivan Netík told Sme.

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