Police to check Slovak soldiers in Ukraine

The law enabling the prosecution of nationals fighting in organised armed group abroad has been valid for more than a year, but as yet nobody has been charged.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/SITA)

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) will investigate whether at least five Slovak citizens, who fight in eastern Ukraine alongside pro-Russian separatists, violated the law, the Denník N daily reported.

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The information was confirmed by spokesperson for the General Prosecutor’s Office Andrea Predajňová, claiming that they ordered an investigation.

According to the amendment to the Slovak Criminal Code, which became valid last January, Slovaks taking part in the military activities of an organised armed group on the territory of another state will face two to eight years in jail.

Though at least five Slovaks have already confirmed for Slovak media outlets, as well as on social networks, that they are members of the armies created by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, the police have not laid charges against anybody, Denník N reported.

Read also: Slovaks fighting in foreign armed groups to be prosecuted Read more 

Meanwhile, journalist Tomáš Forró visited Donetsk last autumn and met with some Slovak soldiers. He assessed there may be 10-15 of them. Activist Ján Benčík has also described the activities of Slovaks fighting in eastern Ukraine on his blog. Some even appeared in the reports of Ukrainian televisions.

Denník N asked about prosecuting the Slovaks earlier in January. The General Prosecutor’s Office said at the time that the content of information published by the media was not a sufficient reason to act in this matter. The police responded at the time that they have to observe the Criminal Code, respect fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as international agreements, the daily reported.

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Denník N also reminded of the promises of Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák who said back June 2015 that the identification of people fighting in eastern Ukraine was underway. He also said the ministry knows about them and that the respective proceedings would start as soon as possible.

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