Maribor – Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič has been charged by police with inflicting slight bodily injury on a 13-year-old boy over alleged vandalism, an incident over which the mayor does not plan to resign.
The police told the newspaper on Tuesday that they had completed the criminal investigation and had informed the prosecutor’s office of their findings. The prosecution confirmed having received the complaint.
Before deciding whether to take up the case, the prosecutor’s office will most likely wait for an expert opinion on whether the bruising on the teenager’s neck can be considered a slight bodily injury, adds the paper.
The boy’s father claims that the mayor is responsible for the bruises, a claim Arsenovič has dismissed.
The mayor told Večer that he had not been informed of the complaint, and that he had certainly not committed any criminal offences.
He does not intend to comment on the proceedings, which he said are not based on reasonable suspicion of any offence but are being used for political purposes only. Nevertheless, he plans to cooperate in the investigation if necessary.
The father of the minor, who has not yet decided whether he will also take civil action against Arsenovič, said he would take a decision on this after consulting with his lawyers. “The primary issue for me at the moment is the criminal charge.”
Slight bodily injury is an offence punishable by a fine or up to one year in prison.
After the news broke that the mayor allegedly physically assaulted a 13-year-old boy in mid-April, Arsenovič said he regretted the incident and apologised to the teenager and his parents as well as the residents of Maribor.
Despite vandalism and insults he witnessed, his response should have been different, he added, but also noted that he would not resign over this.
After losing majority in the city council as a result of the incident, he reiterated his stance, saying that he still intended to run for another term as mayor in the local election in the autumn.
It would be unfair to voters if he did not give them the opportunity to judge his work, he said, highlighting that he had only grabbed the boy by the arms to stop his inappropriate behaviour at a local tennis court where he and his friends were allegedly vandalising the property of a tennis club.