OMBUDSWOMAN Jana Dubovcová has filed two motions over a disputed police operation from June 2013, in which the police fired shots at a car in an attempt to detain a criminal suspected of two murders. Instead, the police detained a group of four students who had nothing to do with the shooting.
The first motion, filed with the district prosecutor in Skalica, pertains to the methods employed by the police during the action, while the second, filed with the Interior Ministry, pertains to the review of the case carried out by the ministry, the TASR newswire reported on March 24.
The four students were pulled over on the D2 highway because their car was listed on a police database as belonging to wanted entrepreneur Milan Ďuriš, suspected of a murder in Orava (Žilina Region). Though it is true that the car belonged to Ďuriš some six years ago, it has since changed owners twice. The entry in the police database may have been out of date. The students asserted that the police had no reason to shoot at their car.
In addition to being shot at, the students objected to the way in which they were subsequently treated. They claim that they were handcuffed and ordered to lie down on the road with other cars passing by just a few metres away. Then they were left standing in the rain for an hour, having been told to switch off their mobile phones. The entire operation lasted more than five hours, with the students having no idea as to why they had been stopped and interrogated for much of that time, TASR wrote.
In a motion filed with the Skalica district prosecutor, Dubovcová’s office concluded that the official probe into the incident carried out by the Interior Ministry investigation team has not brought enough evidence to do away with numerous disparities between the accounts of the incident provided by the students and the respective police officers. Therefore it is necessary to find more evidence to remove the disparities.
The second motion involves objections to the methods of the Interior Ministry’s review of the case, which did not allow the lawyer representing the students to see the file on the investigation of the incident. Dubovcová’s office called this a violation of the law on information, which is guaranteed by the constitution. At the same time the ombudswoman urged the ministry and the respective police department to take all necessary steps to remedy this, as reported by TASR.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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25. Mar 2014 at 14:00