The regional prosecutor’s office in Trenčín dropped the charges laid by an investigator against 12 Greenpeace activists, who protested against coal mining and placed a banner on the mining tower in Nováky (Trenčín Region) in late November.
With their actions, the activists did not threaten any publicly beneficial facility, the prosecutor’s office said. The mining tower on which they hung the banner is not used to transport miners, but to transport extracted coal from the underground to the surface. There are one more routes in the mine to transport coal. Not even the operation of the power plant in Nováky was threatened.
However, the criminal prosecution is not over yet. The investigation will now focus on whether the crime of general endangerment was committed, and whether there was a threat to life, health and property. This means that the police will secure new evidence and then say whether it will press any charges for this crime, re-classify the case to offence, or close the investigation, Greenpeace Slovensko informed in a press release.
This means that the activists are considered suspects, do not have any right to look into the investigation file or have information about the evidence.
“We reject any possibility that in the non-violent protest, during which the activists hung the banner on a mining tower in the Nováky mine, endangered people or property,” said Ivana Kohutková, head of Greenpeace Slovensko, as quoted in the press release.
She hopes that the prosecutor’s office will eventually say that nothing more than an offence was committed.