Slovakia: Off-duty cop charged with three counts of premeditated murder
The Slovak daily Pravda reports that police charged a 51-year-old municipal police officer, Milan Juhász, with three counts of premeditated murder, attempted murder, and illegal weapons possession today. Juhász was not on duty when he arrived on Saturday at the home in Hurbanovo (Komárno district) where he proceeded to shoot dead three people and wound two more.
The charges were expected. On Saturday evening Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák announced the officer would either be charged with homicide or with premeditated murder, which was the eventual charge. Juhász fired in cold blood when he arrived at the home of the Lakatoš family armed with an illegally held Czech-made ČZ 52 pistol. He first murdered one man at the gate and another two in the yard, where he wounded a young couple as well. All the victims were members of the Lakatoš family. He is said to have told people present who were not from that family to get out of there, according to news server Novinky.cz.
The wounded couple is in hospital. The woman was shot through the thigh and the man through the lungs. He is no longer in critical condition.
The court in Bánská Bystrice is deciding whether to remand the perpetrator into custody. The Office of the Special Prosecutor responsible primarily for the fight against organized crime has filed a motion for the perpetrator to be taken into custody. The "Ordinary People" (Obyčejní lidé) movement has also demanded the removal of Miroslav Pollák, the Slovak Government Commissioner for Romani Issues, over the murders.
Pravda reports that for the time being police do not know the motive for the crime. The defendant is in a poor state psychologically and has not yet said anything during interrogation to explain his actions. There is speculation that he might have been in business with the family, who made their living selling non-ferrous metal. Some of the family members have already allegedly done prison time.