Constitutional Court rejects complaint of police brutality in Roma settlement raid

Lawyer of Roma said they would bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Town of Moldava nad BodvouTown of Moldava nad Bodvou (Source: Sme)

The Constitutional Court rejected a complaint of violence allegedly committed by police during a raid at a Roma settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou (Košice Region). Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák stated this on the Z Prvej Ruky programme of the public-service broadcaster RTVS on October 27.

“The Constitutional Court stated that the slightest shred of doubt can be cast over the effectiveness of the official investigation into the given police raid, with the bodies convincingly proving that the submitters of the complaint had not been treated by police members in the way they claimed in their testimonies,” Kaliňák said, as quoted by RTVS. “That is the decision of the Constitutional Court, which has rejected the complaints lodged by the individual participants.”

The police raid in Moldava nad Bodvou was conducted appropriately, the minister added.

Read also:UN condemns Moldava raid Read more 

Local Roma complained about injuries and property damage suffered during the disputed police raid in summer 2013. The police disavowed any allegations of brutality, although criticism was also levelled at the police's approach by then-ombsudswoman Jana Dubovcová, who claimed that a serious violation of basic rights and freedoms was committed against the local Roma.

Turning to ECHR

The lawyer of the aggrieved Roma confirmed that they will turn to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), RTVS informed.

In 63 pages the Constitutional Court argues why it turned down the complaint of nine – out of more than 30 – Roma injured during the raid.

Read also:Charges now brought against witnesses in infamous Moldava raid Read more 

The Roma’s lawyer Stanislav Jakubčík insists only a court could have decided on stopping the prosecution of the police officers involved, and not the investigators of the police inspection, as was the case.

Together with the European Centre for the Rights of Roma they will turn to the ECHR within one month.

Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová did not want to comment on the step of the Constitutional Court. Her predecessor Dubovcová slammed the brutal police raid, the Sme daily wrote. Patakyová did condemn the fact that three witnesses of the operation in Moldava nad Bodvou now face perjury charges.

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