Minister Kalinak Calls Spirko’s Accusations Absurd

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Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 8 (TASR) – Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) rejects accusations by Special Prosecutor Vasil Spirko, who is filing a criminal complaint against him and top police officers over sabotage, as absurd, TASR learnt on Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference, Kalinak rejected allegations of bribery, money laundering as well as efforts to discredit Spirko.

“I’ve been in politics for years, and I haven’t heard such absurd accusations as those made by Mr. Vasil Spirko for a long time. He alleges that we took bribes worth €200 million for fictitious deliveries of network component systems and that we laundered this money and legalised it via a company called FoRest. All of this was supposedly followed by my personal vendetta against him in the form of a criminal prosecution waged by me with an eye towards discrediting him and his family,” stated Kalinak.

The minister claimed that he doesn’t know of any process or system for stealing €200 million from a €16-million contract, adding that tenders held by the Interior Ministry were audited by the cabinet of Iveta Radicova (2010-12). “In the case of this tender, the ministry under my leadership didn’t pay a single euro. After looking into these cases, the next administration incrementally paid sums of approximately €16 million when realising these contracts. I doubt it very much that [former interior minister] Daniel Lipsic [2010-12] would have kept any fictitious deal under wraps,” said Kalinak.

The minister also rejects allegations of money laundering via FoRest, maintaining that the firm has never seen any incomes other than from running a chain of restaurants. “No schemes, financing fabrications or God knows what other nonsense Mr. Spirko said today has ever flown to FoRest,” he added.

Kalinak also stressed that he’s never attempted to discredit the special prosecutor. “It wasn’t me who filed a criminal complaint; I wasn’t the active one,” said Kalinak, claiming that Spirko is in cahoots with the Opposition. The minister finds the timing of Spirko’s appearance before the media quite convenient, as it was instantly followed by a press conference held by Ordinary People (OLaNO). “His political affiliation with Mr. [OLaNO party leader Igor] Matovic and Mr. [Freedom and Solidarity/SaS chair Richard] Sulik is clear,” averred Kalinak, pointing to the past, when Opposition politicians urged Spirko to read out speeches on stage at their protests.