Opposition Launches Petition for Kalinak’s and Gaspar’s Resignation

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Ordinary People leader Igor Matovic (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 27 (TASR) – Representatives of Opposition parties OLaNO and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) are launching a petition calling for Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) and Police Corps President Tibor Gaspar to resign, OLaNO leader Igor Matovic announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

According to Matovic, both Kalinak and Gaspar are responsible for the fact that the police failed to provide protection to murdered journalist Jan Kuciak, with Kalinak even making fun of Kuciak’s criminal complaints of intimidation against entrepreneur Marian Kocner in the past.

“Tibor Gaspar can say a lot of nice-sounding words, but he was responsible for the pace at which a criminal complaint filed by Jan Kuciak was investigated,” stated Matovic, adding that in 44 days the case hadn’t even been assigned to a specific police officer.

“In Slovakia, up to 53 percent of people don’t trust the police. Even countries such as Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey are ahead of us. This is the result of Gaspar’s and Kalinak’s work. Therefore, we call on them to step down and not engage in theatrical displays regarding how they’ll investigate something. For over a decade they’ve been sweeping cases of graft under the carpet and ridiculing journalists. Kuciak begged for help for 44 days and they left him high and dry,” added Matovic.

SaS vice-chair Lucia Duris Nicholsonova (SaS) pointed out that shortly before his murder, Kuciak was digging into alleged connections between the Italian Mafia and Slovak politicians from the co-governing Smer-SD party. “I’m asking how we can put any trust in such police? If this line of inquiry is true, how far can the investigating team headed by Gaspar and the Prosecutor-General’s Office under Jaromir Ciznar go? How can we trust the police and prosecutor’s office? What would happen if the police really completed their work, regardless of with whom this group of Italians enjoyed connections?”

Gabor Grendel (OLaNO), who chairs the parliamentary committee for supervising the activities of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS), announced that he’ll convene an extraordinary session of the committee. “One of the firms [owned by the Italian suspects] was monitored by SIS. We’ll inquire into what SIS discovered and how these findings were put to use by other state bodies.”

Furthermore, Lubomir Galko (SaS) as chair of the parliamentary committee for supervising the activities of the National Security Bureau (NBU) will demand that NBU head Jozef Magala should share the results of past security checks on former Smer-SD MP and incumbent head of crisis management and state security at the Government Office Viliam Jasan and senior state advisor and the prime minister’s assistant Maria Troskova, both of whom had business relations with Italian suspects.