Slovakian far-right leader loses mandate as MP over neo-Nazi symbols, court decides

Marian Kotleba stands outside the Supreme Court in Bratislava in April 2019.
Marian Kotleba stands outside the Supreme Court in Bratislava in April 2019. Copyright AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File
Copyright AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File
By Euronews with AP, AFP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Marian Kotleba will lose his parliament seat as an MP of the Our Slovakia People's Party.


The leader of Slovakia's far-right political party has been given a six-month suspended sentence for neo-Nazi sympathies.

Marian Kotleba was found guilty by Slovakia's Supreme Court of supporting a movement "aimed at suppressing fundamental human rights".

But judges dismissed a lower court ruling that convicted the MP of illegally using neo-Nazi symbols.

Kotleba stood trial after he presented three families with checks for €1,488 euros in March 2017 on the anniversary of the Slovak wartime state’s establishment in 1939.

The number 1,488 has a symbolic meaning for neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Kotleba -- the head of the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) -- was convicted and originally sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

But on appeal, the Supreme Court reduced his sentence while upholding his conviction for neo-Nazi sympathies. The ruling means he will lose his seat in Slovakia's parliament.

LSNS -- whose Eurosceptic members use Nazi salutes -- was the fourth-most popular party in the country in the 2020 parliamentary election with 8% support.

Kotleba and his party’s members openly back Slovakia's legacy during World War II, when it served as a Nazi puppet state.

Another member of the party, Milan Mazurek, became the first Slovak lawmaker to lose his parliament seat in 2019 after he was convicted for the use of racist language against the Roma community.

In 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed a request by the country’s prosecutor general to ban Kotleba’s party as an "extremist group".

The court ruled at the time that the prosecutor general failed to provide enough evidence that the party violated the Slovak constitution and aimed to destroy the country's democracy.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Former Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico faces criminal charges

How EU elections have seen far right rise in Slovakian politics

Hard times, hard attitudes: the rise of the far right in Slovakia