Prague (Jan. 13)
Samuel Weissberger, the Michalovce Jew, who is accused of having shot two peasants in November 1918, in the early days of the formation of the Czecho-Slovakian State, has been released on bail in the sum of 100,000 Czech Kronen, although the Public Prosecutor opposed the application for bail.
Weissberger has from the first insisted that he knows nothing of the shooting of the two peasants and was not a member of the punitive expedition which shot them. Now it is stated that depositions have arrived from a number of people living in Sbinec, the town where the shooting occurred, which were taken by the authorities in Hungary, of which the township is now part, declaring that there was martial law in Sbinec on the day in question, November 10th., 1918, and that Weissberger was not a member of the punitive expedition which was in the township on that day.
It is also announced that two witnesses in the Weissberger affair have been arrested, after making statements that they had been bribed by the Weissberger family to give false evidence in his favour.
The facts, it is explained, however, are that Weissberger’s wife went to the authorities and informed them that a man named Kuczik, who used to live in Sbinec, had come to her offering to give evidence for Weissberger if she paid him a certain amount of money. She had refused to give him any money, so he had gone to the police and made a statement that he had seen Weissberger in the punitive expedition. Another man named Herschkowitsch then came to Mrs. Weissberger and promised that if she gave him
20,000 kronen and gave Kuczik 40,000 kronen, Kuczik would withdraw his statement and would give evidence in favour of Weissberger. Mrs. Weissberger asked for time to consider, and went to the authorities and told them what had happened. On instructions from the police, she pretended to agree, and Mrs. Weissberger, Kuczik and Herschkowitsch met at Kaschau, where she paid over the money to Kuczik with a detective watching from a hiding-place. Kuczik then went to the examining judge and said that he wanted to withdraw his evidence against Weissberger. He was immediately arrested and the money paid him by Mrs. Weissberger was found on him. Herschkowitsch is also under arrest.