BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) – The leader of a far-right party with seats in the Slovak parliament was convicted of illegal use of neo-Nazi symbols and sentenced to four years and four months in prison on Monday.
Marian Kotleba, leader of the Our Slovakia People’s Party, was brought to justice after presenting checks for 1
The sentence is not final. Kotleba pleaded not guilty and can appeal the verdict handed down by the Specialized Criminal Court in Pezinok. The country’s Supreme Court will rule on his appeal.
The far-right Our Slovakia People’s Party, whose members use Nazi salutes and want Slovakia to leave the European Union and NATO, was the country’s fourth most popular party in the February parliamentary elections with 8% support.
He has 17 seats in the 150-seat Slovak parliament and two seats in the European Parliament.
Kotleba and members of his party openly support the legacy of the Nazi puppet that Slovakia was during World War II.
The incident in 2017 took place on March 14, the anniversary of the establishment of the Slovak wartime state in 1939.
Last year, the Supreme Court rejected a request by the country’s chief prosecutor to ban Kotleba’s party.
In his request, Jaromir Chiznar said that the People’s Party “Our Slovakia” is an extremist group whose activities violate the country’s constitution and its goal is to destroy the country’s democratic system.
But the court ruled that the chief prosecutor did not provide enough evidence for the ban.