Slovakia: Neo-Nazi fined EUR 400 for kicking victim in the head
The Slovak news server ta3.com reports that the first sentence has been handed down in the scandal of the aggressive neo-Nazis who assaulted customers of the Mariatchi Bar in the Slovak town of Nitra last year. Professional soldier Tomáš Spišiak has been fined EUR 400, which he must pay the state for having kicked a defenseless, prone person twice in the head.
Spišiak must also reimburse the victim's health insurance company EUR 12.60. If he does not pay the fine, he will go to prison for four months.
Because the settlement was reached out of court, the decision has now taken effect. Spišiak confessed to committing the crime and concluded the agreement with the Public Prosecutor regarding his culpability and punishment.
The District Court in Bratislava has now approved the arrangement. The other perpetrators involved face up to 12 years in prison.
How the assault took place
When the bar refused the skinheads service, they began to shout and would not leave even after the owner asked them to. The other customers pushed them outside, but the right-wing extremists returned with reinforcements.
Bar owner Radovan Richtárik exited the bar in order to stop the skinheads. "I wanted to tell them to drop it, but they wasted no time," he said.
The skinheads immediately began to beat him and some of his customers up. When people fell to the ground, they brutally stomped on them, kicking some in the face and head without mercy.
When the barmaid tried to chase away a neo-Nazi who was jumping up and down on a man lying limp on the sidewalk, another attacker slapped her. The attacks against the bar were not random, as the neo-Nazis are aware that Richtárik is an activist with the People against Racism initiative in Slovakia.
The usual customers of his bar are students in particular. "People with dreadlocks come here too, which bothers [the neo-Nazis] also," Richtárik said.
The violent thugs usually gather in the private Walhala Club across the street from the bar and are part of the entourage around Slovak Fascist Marián Kotleba. He was voted Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region in the latest elections.
Members of the Walhala Club have created a closed group for themselves on Facebook. Its profile photograph is a drawing of two skinheads shaking hands against a backdrop of the Slovak flag.
One of the men in the drawing has an abbreviation for the international neo-Nazi network Combat 18 tatooed on his neck. The Walhala Club Facebook group has four administrators.
Three of the Facebook administrators previously ran in the Parliamentary elections for Kotleba's LS-NS party. The page is also administered by Jakub Škrabák, the current boss of the Fascist association Slovak Solidarity (Slovenská pospolitost), which was previously led by Kotleba; the courts have already dissolved Slovak Solidarity as a political party.
Škrabák is not from Nitra. He ran for Kotleba's LS-NS party in 2012 and 2012.
Two of the Facebook administrators are from Nitra. Anton Baťovský and Dušan Sobolič were once activists with the National Resistance organization and Baťovský has the name of that organization tatooed on his back; both ran for Kotleba's party in 2010.
Last year's attack not the only one
Last year's attack was not the only conflict sparked by neo-Nazis in the bar. The right-wing extremists opened up the Walhala enterprise across the street from it, officially as a private card-playing club.
They used to gather there on Saturday evenings, and Richtárik said there were times when he had problems with them every week. They broke windows, kicked in doors, and threatened the customers.
The neo-Nazi attacks came to a head on New Year's Eve. "First, before midnight they had broken five windows," a customer recalls.
"It was probably around 3 AM when they returned and kicked in the door. Rádo ran out after them with a camera. They saw him photographing them and started to beat him up, pushing him to the ground, kicking and stomping him. We wanted to help him, but one of the skinheads grabbed me and held me back. When I tried to get away he tore my coat," the customer said.
The bar owner ended up in the hospital with a broken leg after the assault. On New Year's Day he was operated on.
Leading figures horrified
Actress Eva Pavlíková and painter Karel Félix believe neo-Nazism is not just a problem of Nitra. "I don't believe that Nitra is exceptional, rather, this case has drawn attention to everything. Naturally I condemn this and the claims that this is not about extremism have upset me," Félix said.
The head of Nitra's theater company, Ján Greššo, called the attack brutal, hateful and inhuman. "I am always appalled when I see anger that harms people not just physically, but also psychologically," he said.
Former Slovak presidential candidate Pavol Hrušovský also lives in Nitra and has demanded harsh punishment for the perpetrators since the beginning. "Such brutal violence is deplorable. I am sorry it took the police so long to investigate given the video footage," he said.
Neo-Nazis in Nitra have long committed assaults
Neo-Nazis in Nitra have been attacking people for quite some time now. For example, in 2008 they assaulted a group of young people in front of the Old Theater and have established a branch of the militant neo-nazi National Resistance movement network there.
In the past neo-Nazis have organized a "March against Drugs" in Nitra on the anniversary of the founding of the Fascist Slovak state. That entity collaborated with Nazi Germany during the war.
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