Slovak trial of fascist party chair becoming protracted, he alleges the judge is biased
The trial of Marian Kotleba, the head of the fascist party in Slovakia called "Kotlebists - People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS) who has been charged with promoting Nazism by distributing checks featuring neo-Nazi symbolism while in public office, is apparently becoming protracted - during the opening hearing, Kotleba filed an objection alleging that the judge hearing the case is biased. She rejected that accusation and the Supreme Court must now decide the matter of the complaint against her.
Should he be found guilty, Kotleba faces imprisonment and the loss of his National Assembly seat. Historians have already testified in the case that the LSNS is a neo-Nazi party.
The filing of objections alleging judicial bias is not unusual in Slovakia. According to legal experts, the attorneys for defendants usually take advantage of the opportunity to file such complaints as an attempt to delay a trial.
Kotleba justified his objection to Judge Ružena Sabová by claiming to believe she will facilitate selective presentation of evidence and alleging she had communicated with an expert witness about augmenting his opinion. Judge Sabová, who is also the presiding judge over the panel ruling on the case of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner, read her communication with the expert witness into the court record.
The recorded communications reveal that she just requested appendices. She then formally rejected the objection.
Kotleba then complained about that decision, which means the Supreme Court will decide the issue. Until the Supreme Court rules, Sabová is able to review just previously-obtained evidence during the ongoing trial, for example, interrogating previously-summoned witnesses, and is not allowed to pronounce a verdict.
The defense has proposed more evidence and new witnesses. Kotleba said he does not intend to attend the next hearing in July because the National Assembly will be in session.
The prosecutor has indicted him for using neo-Nazi symbolism on the symbolic checks he used to publicly present families with financial gifts in 2017 at a high school in Banská Bystrica in front of almost 4 000 invited guests. Each check was for the amount of EUR 1488.
The numbers "14" and "88" are, according to detectives, famously used in neo-Nazi symbolism, an interpretation confirmed to the court by the expert. The gifts were also publicly presented on the anniversary of the founding of the WWII-era Slovak State in 1939.
The LSNS espouses reviving that first Slovak Republic, which was a client state of Nazi Germany. Three historians have testified in court that in their expert opinion, the LSNS is the only significant neo-Nazi party in Slovakia.
Kotleba's response was to question their expertise. The LSNS, which also criticizes the EU, NATO, and inveighs against Romani people, won 8 % of the vote in February's parliamentary elections.
That outcome was the same as four years ago. The campaign slogans were about establishing "order" in the country and fighting "liberalism".
Sabová announced after the first hearing with Kotleba this year that it will be possible to assess the indictment according to a stricter provision of the Criminal Code than the prosecutor proposed. That would mean Kotleba would, if convicted, face up to eight years in prison and would lose his seat in the legislature.
Kotleba's previous defense was that detectves had "tendentiously" divided the amount of money on the checks into the numbers 14 and 88. The indictment is being reviewed by a Specialized Criminal Court that hears the most serious criminal cases, including ones involving extremist crimes.
- Slovak Police refute disinformation alleging that rampaging murderer at school was Romani
- Slovakia: Two non-Romani assailants who invaded Romani home to personally deliver death threats given suspended sentences
- Slovak court finally rules on brutal assault by neo-Nazis seven years ago in Nitra, they appeal
- Austrian SozialMarie award goes to Slovak project Dom.ov aiding Romani families with building housing
- Slovak Prosecutor: Fascist pandemic is just as dangerous as COVID-19, trial of extreme politician begins tomorrow
- Slovak Education Ministry establishes expert team focused on solving problems with the education of members of national minorities
- Slovakia: Romani settlement celebrates lifting of across-the-board quarantine now that infected individuals and their loved ones have been isolated
- Slovakia: Six more inhabitants of Romani settlement test positive for COVID-19, are relocated to facility
- Slovakia: COVID-19 still spreading in Roma settlement, quarantine center will be built there and across-the-board testing undertaken
- Slovak Interior Ministry Inspectorate begins prosecution of officer who assaulted Romani children
- Slovak MEP and Govt Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities file crime report over assault on Romani children in Krompachy
- Slovakia: Three Romani communities in Krompachy out of COVID-19 quarantine, movement restrictions only remain in Žehra
- Patrik Banga: Police officer who beat Romani children in Slovakia must be fired, he relied on "cigoši" not complaining
- Slovak Interior Minister meets with Romani MPs from governing party about police brutality incident, blames parents of the victims
- Slovak President asks for explanation of incident in which police officer brutalized young children in Romani settlement
- Romani Union of Slovakia: Police brutality against children must be investigated by independent commission, the ministry could be biased
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities says she belives police brutality incident will be properly investigated, officer has been transferred
- Slovak MEP from Romani community strongly condemns police beating of Romani children in quarantined settlement as unacceptable
- Slovak police officer said to have beaten five Romani children in Krompachy settlement and threatened to shoot them
- Fascist party in Slovakia seems to be falling apart
- Romani runner in Slovakia prepares for Europe's junior championship
- Czech MP publishes collage comparing vaccinations against COVID-19 to the Holocaust and using imagery of the gate at Auschwitz
- Czech churches condemn those wearing yellow Stars of David at anti-vaxxer events, call on them to apologize
- Czech capital sees demonstration in support of Trump and against COVID-19 pandemic suppression measures by the same extremists who march against the Roma
- Slovak quarantine measures in Romani settlement are over, police and soldiers no longer on guard there
- Scandalous fourth acquittal by Czech court of racist football fans accused of assaulting Black man on tram
- Czech ultra-right oppose vaccinations against COVID-19 with antisemitic caricature
- Racists in Czech capital assault non-white family, call the father "Cikán", give the Nazi salute, try to take their baby
- Slovak MP of Romani origin Peter Pollák, Jr.: COVID-19 isn't racist
- Romani politicians: Slovak court's judgment in case of police abuse of children is unacceptable
- Czechs to protest COVID-19 measures on national holiday tomorrow - including neo-Nazis reviving antisemitic tropes