Monday, November 13, 2006

Victim of Skinhead Attack In Slovakia Could Face Jail

Hedviga Malinova was speaking Hungarian to a friend on her mobile phone back in August in the Slovak town of Nitra.
Unfortunately, a few skinheads happened to be walking by and hearing Hungarian they attacked like Pavlovian dogs. Malinova says they ripped an earring out of her ear, scrawled "Slovakia for Slovaks' and stole her phone and other valuables. The incident happened with Slovakia and Hungary trading slurs and insults, at soccer games and in the halls of power. Among the most adept ethnic mudslingers was and is Mr. Jan Slota. Malinova became a media celebrity, a reminder of how far and ugly things had come between the neighbors. Now, fast forward three months, and everything is different. Not only are Slovak police not trying to track down the neo-Nazi skinheads Ms Malinova says brutally beat her, but they are mulling levelling charges against her for making the whole thing up, and she could be sent to the slammer for up to five years! Slovakia's Interior Minister Robert Kalinak says Malinova made the whole thing up. Malinova had changed her account, but she later said the Slovak police made her. Slovak police said further evidence the whole thing was made up is Malinova's phone didn't register a call on the incriminating day. Malinova says she wasn't speaking on a mobile, but trying to help lost Hungarians tourists who happened to drive by. There are questions about her wounds. The hospital in Nitra where she was treated said Malinova was slightly hurt, the Slovak police say experts reject all her injury claims. Malinova says Slovak police never were interested in investigation her charges, not even looking for the skinheads she described. Malinova lawyer's request to reopen the police probe was rejected. Who to believe. Well, Slovak police are far from saints. They locked up the chief of a Slovak mobile phone company allegedly because he was a big backer of an opposition party. On the other hand, there seems to be scant evidence of the the horrific injuries Malinova says she suffers. You decide.

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