Gaspar: LSNS Patrols on Trains Must Abide By Law

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People's Party Our Slovakia leader Marian Kotleba. (Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 12 (TASR) – If either MPs or members of the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) want to prevent a crime from happening, they can take action as any other Slovak citizen without being held criminally liable, Police President Tibor Gaspar said at a press conference on Tuesday.

If, however, they use means reserved under the law only for police officers, they could be prosecuted, according to Gaspar. He was speaking in response to LSNS chairman Marian Kotleba, who announced on Monday (April 11) at the Zvolen train station that LSNS will despatch its own patrols to trains in order to protect passengers.

The measure was triggered by an incident on Thursday (April 7), when a 21-year-old woman was physically attacked by a young man, 17, from a Roma settlement. The attacker asked the woman to give him one euro and when she refused to oblige, he subsequently choked the victim with a rope, slammed her head against a window and kept punching her in the face repeatedly until she surrendered her wallet and mobile phone. Calling the episode “a brutal attack by a Gypsy extremist on a young girl”, LSNS announced it would despatch three-member patrols to trains, the first of which is to be commanded by MP Peter Krupa, who recently made headlines by arriving to the Parliament armed with a handgun.

“Every citizen of this country can prevent a crime from happening and might offer help to another citizen until the arrival of police. Even if they formally committed a crime in the process, they wouldn’t be held criminally liable,” said Gaspar, who added that if someone restricts personal freedom of others wantonly and without justification of stopping a crime, however, they would face prosecution.

There are three rail lines involved and all pass through Banska Bystrica region, where Kotleba is also the regional (BBSK) governor and the headquarters of the movement and its 14 MPs are based.