Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Supreme Court Judge Harabin released extremism suspect

Štefan Harabin has openly criticised measures against extremism

Štefan Harabin(Source: Sme)

Harabin – former justice minister and former chair of the Judicial Council and Supreme Court – has thrown out a case perceived as a pilot project in the fight against extremism. Since January, the court has applied more stringent rules to cases involving suspected displays of extremism.

According to new rules, the Specialized Criminal Court is dealing with these cases, and the Supreme Court is acting as the court of appeals.

Read also:Harabin can continue to work as judge

After an attack on a foreign student with dark skin in Banská Bystrica this February, the alleged attacker was charged and placed in pre-trial custody. Harabin released the man following an appeal and questioned the entire case, the Sme daily wrote on July 10.

Harabin argued that the evidence had been collected in an unlawful way and therefore cannot be included in the file. He also deemed testimonies against the alleged extremist unusable and dismissed as unimportant the information that when the Frenchman and his friends first entered the bar, someone made the “heil” salute. The evidence cannot support a clear image of who provoked the fight, Harbin said. The testimonies of foreigners accompanying the victim required a translator.

Investigation, charge and appeal

Police did not interrogate any other guests, who may have shed some light on the events in the Banská Bystrica bar.

Harabin pointed out that the 31-year-old man charged in the case, identified as Peter P., was also injured in the confrontation. He said that the testimonies of the victim’s three friends were nearly identical and therefore untrustworthy. He said these testimonies, as well as the fact that he suspect had “liked” the Facebook page of Slovak Revivalist Movement, which unites supporters of the Slovak wartime totalitarian state, constituted unusable information.

Harabin also openly criticises measures against extremism and on July 6 wrote a Facebook status that “the most fascistic (President Andrej) Kiska with the corrupt media and politicians rudely calls for the fight against extremism”.

Slovak fight against extremism

Since stricter rules for judging cases of extremism were introduced this year, the Specialised Criminal Court has issued one valid verdict in a case of extremism. On June 23 the court granted a 10-year suspended sentence following a plea bargain. The 20-month prison sentence following an April attack against a black man in Pezinok is not yet valid. In June, the Special Prosecutor’s Office acquitted a man who had been charged for making the “heil” salute in front of the police on March 14, the anniversary of the rise of the Slovak wartime state. Experts in the field of extremism had first professional exams at the Justice Ministry in July. Slovakia does not yet have experts for this topic, Sme wrote.

Read also:Harabin sues Slovakia

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

We will not allow Ján and Martina to be forgotten

Statement from Slovak journalists half a year after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová

Illustrative stock photo

Yuri Dojc: I did not want to live under occupation

Slovakia is not even close to what I remember from my life here, says the Canadian-Slovak photographer.

Yuri Dojc today: "A reflection of an older man in the mirror with glimpse of an attractive woman , who is my wife"

Our emigrants’ stories: lessons in humanity

Slovaks who fled the 1968 occupation tell us what it means to be a refugee.

Pictures from The Gift pantomime show. Milan Sladek wrote it in the Swedish Goteborg in 1969 as a metaphor of Czechoslovakia's cohabitation with the Soviet Union.

We were on the run, but we were welcomed Photo

Slovak-Swiss writer Irena Brežná was forced to emigrate but found a way to fill her life with meaning in a foreign land.

Irena Brežná arrives to Switzerland.