The Slovak Constitutional Court has overturned the acquittal of ten police officers originally accused of bullying Roma boys at a police station in Košice-South, eastern Slovakia in 2009.
The court ruled that the rights of six boys were violated at the time and returned the case to the Košice II District Court for further proceedings.
In March 2009, six Roma boys aged between 10 and 16 were taken to a police station in Košice in connection with the alleged robbery of an old woman. A video the police are said to have made on their phones showed the officers humiliating and ridiculing the boys, and forcing them to slap and undress each other, among other things.
The police - nine men and one woman - were all charged with abuse of power and four were also accused of blackmail.
In different court rulings over the years, the officers have been acquitted and had that acquittal confirmed. In 2019 a Košice court lifted the charges against them, ruling that "it has not been proven that the crime, for which the defendants are being prosecuted, happened." A year later they were declared definitely not guilty of bullying the boys.
However, the Constitutional Court had now cancelled the acquittals.
The complainants had previously filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights which also found their rights had been violated.