Danko: I Publicly Declare that I Didn’t Order anyone to Open and Read Letters

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Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 4 (TASR) – Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) on Thursday publicly declared that he has never ordered the Parliament Office staff to read letters addressed to individual MPs, and he himself hasn’t read any letters sent to other lawmakers, either.

In the same breath, Danko at a press conference stated that if the Opposition provided evidence for such accusations, he would resign.

“I was criminalised, smeared and accused in a manner that doesn’t belong in this society. I thank those MPs who acknowledged that the proposal for my dismissal was a complete lie. It contains so many deceitful things that I can’t even get it how they are allowed to utter such shameful lies,” said Danko, adding that in this case he came to understand how the main character in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial must have felt.

“I publicly declare that I didn’t order the opening and reading of any letters. I’ve never eavesdropped on my colleagues and I’ve never ordered a wiretap on anyone. There are processes in Parliament that remain unknown to the parliamentary chair and needn’t be known by them, either. I haven’t usurped Parliament as my possession. There are 380 people working in Parliament, and apart from the press department office director, I haven’t made any changes,” he said.

Danko then went on to say that as soon as he learnt about the Opposition’s objections to the way letters are being treated in Parliament, he began to look into the case.

“You might not realise that these few women process 32,000 letters annually. I’ll never attempt to get rid of political responsibility, but I will protest against lies in the media and attacks against me. Nobody in Parliament has been opening letters with the purpose of damaging the Opposition. If anyone spread the information that letters have been opened in Parliament with the aforementioned purpose, they were lying. I see political attacks behind this with the aim of diverting attention from things troubling the Opposition,” said Danko.

The parliamentary chairman reiterated that 39 letters were opened under a directive released on April 7 by Parliament Office chief Daniel Guspan concerning the opening of letters sent by private individuals and anonymous senders. Nonetheless, Danko said that he can’t release the list of the purported recipients without their prior consent. The Opposition, meanwhile, has been demanding such a list be released in order to know whether also letters sent to coalition MPs were opened.