Court Gives Life Sentence to “the Bucket” and Fellow Partners-in-Crime

Robert "Bucket" Lalis (first row, in the middle) during a court hearing on January 21, 2016 (photo by TASR/Branislav Racko)

Banska Bystrica, March 30 (TASR) – The kingpin of the Bratislava ‘Sykorovci’ gang Robert Lalis nicknamed Kybel (Bucket) received a life sentence from the Specialised Criminal Court in Banska Bystrica on Wednesday.

Life sentence was given also to Jozef Rohac nicknamed Potkan (Rat), who is currently held in custody in Hungary, and Ivan Cuper nicknamed Vinco (Vince). The verdict is not yet valid.
The defendants faced charges of six murders committed in 1998-99 (of Eduard and Robert Dinic, Roman Deak, Alojz Hazy, Daler Hlavacka and Milos Piliar) and the crime of founding, supporting and organising a crime group.

Another gang member identified by court only as Martin B. “Russian” pleaded guilty to all charges and received 23 years in jail.

As for assassin for hire Alojz Kromka, nicknamed Lojzo Cistic (Lojzo, the Eraser), the court opted not to impose any punishment, seeing as the defendant is already serving a life sentence.

Witnesses in the process confirmed that Lalis was at the top of criminal hierarchy. They called him “the Bucket”, but not to his face. According to testimonies, the gang’s main income stemmed from extortion and murders and all profits flowed to Lalis, who ruled the gang with a iron fist. All of his orders had to be obeyed to the letter, no defiance was condoned, said the witnesses. No one could trust anyone.

The court sessions were attended also by parents of murdered Roman Deak. “Yes, it’s a certain form of relief… here we got to hear that our son was in no organised crime group. Unfortunately, a person pretending to be his friend did what he did. I wish them (the convicted) a lot of health and long lives behind bars,” mother Viera Deakova told the media.