04. 06. 2018 14:47
A perpetrator, who reportedly beat to death a 36-year-old Filipino in Bratislava, was arrested and charged with manslaughter and should remain in custody, the court decided on Monday. If found guilty, he will spend between seven and twelve years in prison.
According to witnesses and the media, Henry John Serafica Acorda from the Philippines, was defending two women who were being harassed by Slovak man Juraj H. on Obchodná Street in Bratislava in the early hours of May 26. Juraj H. of the Dunajská Streda district pushed Henry onto the ground and kept kicking him in the head. The man succumbed to his injuries at Ružinov Hospital in Bratislava on Thursday.
Bratislava Regional Police Spokesman Michal Szeiff told the TASR press agency that the same man who was arrested a week earlier was detained by the police at the crime scene. However, a prosecutor from the District Prosecutor's Office saw no reason for keeping the man in custody and subsequently released him. "The case was taken over by an investigator from the Criminal Police Department of the Police Corps Regional Directorate in Bratislava. After having looked into the case, the crime was reclassified as manslaughter," said Szeiff.
Politicians from the entire political spectrum condemned the attack. Bratislava Old Town Mayor Radoslav Števčík said he would demand a strengthening of police patrols in the centre of Bratislava. Justice Minister Gábor Gál said that he would look closely at the case and was curious to hear why the regional prosecutor released the suspect and did not agree with the police investigator. The fact that the suspect was released by the police before being arrested again caused outrage among the Slovak public. According to the opposition Freedom and Solidarity party, people who release killers should not work at the Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutor General Jaroslav Čižnár, cited by the Denník N daily, responded that politicians, including the Justice Minister, are able to misuse a tragedy. The police neither confirmed, nor denied, that the attack was motivated by racism.
As Henry's friend Oliver Burias told the media, he worked in Slovakia and would send most of his income to his poor family in the Philippines. "I am very sorry," said the perpetrator when journalists asked him if he wanted to say anything to Henry's family. On Wednesday, gatherings in Henry's memory are to take place in Bratislava, Banská Bystrica and Prague.