Slovak Regional Governor spreads rumors about attempted rape on a train, police refute them
News server dennikn.sk reports that Marian Kotleba, Regional Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region and chair of a fascist party in Slovakia called the "People's Party Our Slovakia" (Ľudové strany Naše Slovensko - LSNS) announced at a press conference on Tuesday, 14 February that an attempt had been made the previous day to rape a 16-year-old girl on a train traveling across Slovak territory. Police and the railways have stated that his version of events is incorrect.
Police believe Kotleba was trying to exploit a particular incident to justify the presence of his party's "patrols" on trains in Slovakia. The politician told the press that on Monday, 13 February, a group of men attempted to rape a 16-year-old girl on the international fast train EC 172 Hungaria traveling between Budapest and Prague.
"The train squad then stopped the train at Nové Zámky and called the police. Despite the fact that the police station there is just 1.7 kilometers from the train station, it took them 20 minutes to arrive. If the assaulted girl had been relying on those police officers for aid, she would have been raped by the group of asocials before they got there," Kotleba said.
Police in Nitra have explained to public broadcaster Slovak Radio and Television that the incident was not one of attempted rape. According to them, a woman reported that somebody was touching the girl as she slept, but not in a sexual way.
The girl became frightened, according to police, and sought the aid of what Kotleba called the "train squad" in his press conference. Those people were not, however, a squad of Kotleba supporters, but ordinary train staff.
The false nature of Kotleba's announcement has also been confirmed by Slovak Railways, according to whom the girl was apparently touched by a member of a small, organized group that focuses on robbing rail passengers. Police are searching for the men involved.
Kotleba also said during his press conference that another incident had taken place the day before on a different international fast train during which foreigners were robbed by a "group of asocials" and alleged that police had not adequately responded to the incident. According to the Slovak public broadcaster, however, that statement is also untrue.
The incident involved a group of Korean tourists who left a backpack behind on a train. The train attendant who found it then returned it to them.
Kotleba himself makes no secret of the fact that his train "patrols" have just been the first step toward his party setting up a militia. The Slovak State Railways have objected to the presence of the "patrols" on train connections.
New transit regulations have been adopted because of the "patrols" and political agitation is now banned in train cars. Last autumn the Slovak Parliament adopted an amendment to the law on the railways which means that as of February 2017, only police and persons designated by a rail carrier can supervise public order inside trains and at train stations.
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