Detained officers from elite corruption investigation team released from custody

Court sees no reason for criminal prosecution of the corruption investigators.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Investigators Ján Čurilla and Pavol Ďurka are getting out of prison. The Bratislava Regional Court decided to release the investigators of the Purgatory team from custody.

Investigators of the Bureau of the Inspection Service, or the police inspectorate, an independent body running under the Interior Ministry investigating crimes committed by police officers, detained the investigators of high-stake cases, as well as two other investigators from the Purgatory team of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) nearly three weeks ago, a move that has sparked open conversations about an all-out war among the police.

Related articleHow an anti-team dismantled an elite police team with the help of the secret service Read more 

Ďurka and Čurilla are members of NAKA’s specialised Purgatory team, assigned to look into some of the most serious crimes that surfaced during the investigation of the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in 2018.

On September 14, Ďurka, Čurilla, and two other NAKA investigators were charged with purposefully prosecuting members of what has been dubbed the anti-team: a team working under the inspectorate since March 2021 to investigate the allegations the opposition voiced against the Purgatory team.

After they were arrested, Bratislava III District Court Judge Juraj Kapinaj sent the two investigators to pre-trial custody.

The detained investigators filed a complaint against the charges and against custody.

The Bratislava Regional Court, the court of appeals in this case, released them all from custody on October 1. It stated that it saw no reason to keep them in custody and that the criminal prosecution of the investigators was unfounded, the Sme daily reported.

The senate was chaired by Judge Magdaléna Blažová and also included judges Mária Šimková and Danica Veselovská.

"Based on what has been communicated from the regional court's argumentation so far, I expect an immediate stop to the criminal prosecution against my clients," said attorney Peter Kubina, who represents the investigators in court, as quoted by the Denník N daily.

The prosecutor refrained from commenting.

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