Far right leader Marian Kotleba was sentenced to four years and four months in prison, not only because of the cheques worth €1,488.
The verdict has yet to be confirmed by the Supreme Court.
The verbal reasoning of the verdict as given by Judge Ružena Sabová on Monday, October 12, lasted about one hour and a half. She gave a detailed explanation of the circumstances that played against Kotleba, also hinting at how he could have avoided the sentence.
He would have received a lower or no punishment if he had not handed out the controversial cheques with neo-Nazi symbolism in public, and if he had not done so when he was the regional governor and member of parliament.
"The defendant acted as a member of the lawmaking body, who is obliged to observe the constitution and the laws," the judge explained in her reasoning. The law says that if the deed he was sentenced for was committed in public, the punishment starts with four years in prison. Otherwise, the punishment can be significantly lower, starting at one year.
The judge labelled it an aggravating circumstance that the head of the parliamentary People's Party - Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) organised the handing out of the symbolic cheques in front of about 300 people at the Business Academy in Banska Bystrica. The party newspaper and website later reported about the event too.
A premeditated promotion of neo-Nazi symbols
14. Oct 2020 at 12:13 | Peter Kováč