Interior Minister Disapproves of Arrests of NAKA Investigators and UIS Head

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Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 13 (TASR) – Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OLaNO) disapproves of actions taken by the Internal Affairs Inspectorate (UIS) and Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office, which decided to arrest four National Criminal Agency (NAKA) investigators and UIS interim director Peter Scholtz, TASR learnt from Interior Ministry spokesperson Barbara Turosova on Monday.

Although the minister has no legal powers to reverse the process, he will do his utmost to “prevent such shady practices from discouraging decent police officers and investigators from continuing the fight against corruption and other crimes”.

“Within the bounds of the Constitution, it is the prosecutor’s office bodies that guarantee the legality of criminal prosecution and that’s a fact that not even the Interior Minister can reverse, not if he views the Slovak Republic as a state under the rule of law. However, events of recent days and particularly those of today cast radical doubt over these fundamentals. Therefore, I voice my disapproval with the approach taken by members of the UIS and Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office,” stated the minister.

In Mikulec’s view, it is glaring that the prosecutor’s office is not utilizing the same legal principles in all cases and employs double standards. “The same applies to the Internal Affairs Inspectorate, which for years was failing to uncover any missteps of top functionaries, those over whom hang justified suspicions of committing criminal activities and who are now prosecuted in custody. Instead, the UIS was rather prosecuting the whistleblowers,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, the UIS investigators apprehended four NAKA investigators working on the high-profile Purgatory corruption case and charged two of them, Jan C. and Pavol D. [names abbreviated due to legal reasons] with misuse of a public official’s powers and obstruction of justice. In addition, the UIS apprehended its own interim director Scholtz at the instruction of Bratislava prosecutor Juraj Chylo, who is also concerned the charges pressed against outgoing police chief Peter Kovarik.