LSNS MP Mazurek Appeals against Guilty Verdict of Defaming Roma

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LSNS MP Milan Mazurek (photo by TASR)

Banska Bystrica, December 29 (TASR) – MP for the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) Milan Mazurek earlier this week appealed against the decision of a judge from the Specialised Criminal Court (STS) in Banska Bystrica who found him guilty of defaming the Roma ethnic group on Zilina-based radio station Frontinus, TASR learnt on Friday.

Mazurek was given a fine of €5,000. If he fails to pay it, he’ll be sent to jail for six months and stripped of his seat in Parliament.

Speaking at a press conference in Banska Bystrica earlier in the day, Mazurek rejected the accusations, claiming that it’s all only a “political process, political spectacle”. The LSNS MP stated that the €5,000 fine isn’t a real punishment for him, as the only penalty that would affect him would be the loss of his seat.

“There’s only one goal behind all this – to destroy the real Opposition, a political opponent that is getting in the way of the current Government. The real punishment for me is to lose the MP’s seat that I obtained from Slovak citizens in a legal democratic election. This is a dangerous precedent,” said Mazurek.

The LSNS MP further stated that he knows “a number of decent Gypsies” who have told him that his statements about the Roma didn’t hurt any of them. On the contrary, many agree with the statements in many ways, he claimed, adding that his statements concerned “those who have chosen to sponge off the social system for a living”.

A prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (USP) filed a complaint against Mazurek on December 4. “The STS judge identified himself with the legal qualification of the act stated in the prosecutor’s indictment. However, the prosecutor plans to appeal within the statutory time limit, as he doesn’t agree with the level of the punishment in the sentence,” said Prosecutor-General’s Office spokesperson Andrea Predajnova on December 20.

As Mazurek has appealed against the decision as well, new proceedings will have to be launched.