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Two Slovaks face custody for verbally attacking American

Kosice, East Slovakia, 8.4.2008 12:36, (ROMEA/CTK)

The Slovak prosecutor has proposed that two men who verbally attacked a dark-skinned U.S. woman in the streets of Kosice on Sunday be remanded in custody, Milan Filicko, spokesman for the Regional Prosecutor's Office, told CTK today.

The men called the 25-year-old U.S. basketball player from the Kosice team names that were racially-tinged and pursued her to a nearby restaurant where she sought help.

The attackers were later detained by police. The woman was not injured.

The police accused both men of inciting racial hatred. If found guilty, they face up to three years in prison.

The prosecutor's office proposed custody in this case as there is a risk that the accused men might continue criminal activities at large. They were both prosecuted for similar attacks in the past, Filicko said.

The court must decide on the proposal within 48 hours.

One of the attackers was convicted of violent crimes, including support for extremist groups, three times in the past. The other man is currently being prosecuted on suspicion of attacking a Romany.

Last year, the Slovak police registered 155 cases of racially motivated attacks. Their number was lower than in 2006, according to police statistics.

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