Lakatošová and Lakatoš v Slovakia (pending)
On 16 June 2012, an off-duty police officer took an illegally purchased gun and drove to the town of Hurbanovo, Slovakia, where many Roma live. He stopped in front of one house and, without saying a word, shot at a Romani family who were in the yard. Three of them died and two others – the applicants in the case – were seriously injured. The murderer later admitted to police that when he was preparing his gun, he was thinking about how to deal with Roma from Hurbanovo.
The murderer was found guilty and sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment, including three years of protective supervision including psychological treatment.
The applicants were unable to appeal against the sentence. With the ERRC’s support, they unsuccessfully complained to the Constitutional Court about various human rights violations resulting from flaws in the trial and in the sentence.
The ERRC is now representing the applicants in a complaint pending before the European Court of Human Rights. The applicants’ main arguments are that the investigation, prosecution, and trial did not adequate expose and deal with the racist motivation for the murders, and that procedural flaws in the trial preventing the applicants from effectively participating in the proceedings.
The Court’s statement of facts in the case can be found here.
The relevant parts of the application that the ERRC submitted on behalf of the applicants can be found here.
The observations the ERRC submitted, on behalf of the applicants, in response to the Government’s observations, can be found here.