Moldava case is heading to court

Police officers are examined by their colleagues.

Settlement in Moldava nad BodvouSettlement in Moldava nad Bodvou (Source: SME)

The case of the police raid in Moldava nad Bodvou in June 2013 has not ended even after the Interior Ministry’s inspection conclude that the police officers who raided the local Roma settlement did not break the law, Sme reported on April 27.

In June 2013 the Police were purportedly seeking seven men with outstanding warrants. They did not find any of those men but according to eyewitnesses, violence ensued and 15 other Roma were taken to the police station. Several of the Roma were injured and at least one of them claims to have undergone two further severe beatings at the police station itself. A second man alleges that he left the station bleeding from his rectum. 

The inspector ultimately upheld the police officers statements and stopped the ongoing prosecution in two of six charges in late March while in November he halted the prosecution in the remaining four charges. Legal representatives of the aggrieved Roma have turned to the regional prosecutor's office in Prešov which has already rejected the complaint in relation to four charges and now is dealing with the remaining two.

In case of the first four charges the lawyers approached the Constitutional Court.

Read also:Inspection sees no violence against Roma Read more 

It is not clear from the decision which evidence the inspector used to come to the conclusion that the use of coercive means was lawful, according to Vanda Durbákova of the Centre for Civil and Human Rights who is representing two residents of the settlement in the dispute.

She objects the fact that police officers are examined by their colleagues.

“In some cases, the inspector unreasonably took the side of the examined police officers, say the lawyers,” Durbákova told the Sme daily.

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