THE CONDUCT of police officers investigating an alleged neo-Nazi attack in front of the Mariatchi bar in downtown Nitra was proper, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák told the parliamentary defence and security committee March 13. The investigation was slower than ideal, but no specific police officer could be blamed for this situation, he said.
“Nevertheless, [the whole investigation process] could have been shorter, [if it were not for this mistake],” Kaliňák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He added that there “were certain procedural matters”, but these did not affect the course of the investigation.
The interior minister also told the members of the committee that none of the police officers was member of the neighbouring Walhala club where, though it was officially listed as a “private card-playing club”, neo-Nazis used to gather. The investigation proved that only one police officer “liked” the club’s social network page, as reported by TASR.
Independent MP Daniel Lipšic reminded that Kaliňák and Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar were defending the conduct of Nitra investigators, while at the same time General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár has criticised how the incident was handled.
The story of the attacks emerged only after the Sme daily published a video of the first attack caught by a municipal security street camera. The footage shows a group of men attacking patrons of the Mariatchi bar, a popular student hangout in downtown Nitra, with the assailants kicking one victim in the head repeatedly. The incident was reportedly just one in a series of similar attacks.
On New Year’s Eve, Mariatchi 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 attackers’ faces are clearly visible in the video footage of the first assault, the police waited until after Sme broke the story to charge the alleged perpetrators.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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14. Mar 2014 at 13:00