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Slovak court acquits extremist organisation representative

Bratislava, 3.6.2008 10:28, (ROMEA/CTK)

A Bratislava district court today acquitted Michal Lassak, a leading official of the nationalist Slovenska pospolitost (Slovak Community) association, of racist attack charges due to the lack of evidence.

According to the charges, Lassak brutally attacked a dark-skinned man on a tram in Bratislava in 2000.

Nevertheless, one of the principal witnesses, an elderly doctor from Bratislava, refused to testify in court about the incident, in fears of his safety.

The victim was not able to identify Lassak clearly.

"There are more doubts than pieces of evidence to prove guilt in this case. The court was not able to clearly state that the accused man had committed the act," a judge said.

The prosecutor insists on Lassak's being guilty.

She has not yet said whether she will appeal the acquitting verdict.

Lassak, number two in the ultra-right Slovak Community after chairman Ivan Sykora, did not attend the court proceedings today.

He claimed in the past that the trial was an attempt to criminalise the Slovak Community.

This organisation is ill-famed for its extremist opinions and public marches in uniforms resembling the guards of the wartime Slovak puppet state that collaborated with Nazi Germany.

The Slovak Supreme Court banned the party of the same name previously, so the Slovak Community is now working as an association.

It members often take part in events organised by Czech extremists.

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Slovensko, Extremism, EU



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