President: Interior Minister Loses My Trust over Vietnamese’s Abduction

Interior Minister Denisa Sakova and President Andrej Kiska. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 6 (TASR) – Slovak President Andrej Kiska stated on Monday that Interior Minister Denisa Sakova (Smer-SD) has lost his confidence, as she’s been behaving as the right-hand woman of former interior minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD), and she thus appears to be an obstacle in investigating Slovakia’s possible involvement in the abduction of a former Vietnamese state manager and politician from Germany.

Kiska was speaking after meeting Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) on Monday.
“Her latest statements on the suspicions concerning the misuse of state power seem so far to be poorly veiled attempts to cover up traces and protect the ministry’s former leadership,” said Kiska.

The president further stated that Sakova’s very nomination for minister in the spring to replace Kalinak, while she had served as his deputy until then, was considered by him as a wasted opportunity by new Prime Minister Pellegrini’s Cabinet to demonstrate its determination to change the style of government in response to mass public protests at the time.

Ahead of a meeting of the top three state officials – the president, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) and the prime minister – with Prosecutor General Jaromir Ciznar on Monday afternoon, Kiska said that he will demand “convincing measures and signals” that the case is being investigated with due seriousness.

Shortly before Kiska’s statement, Sakova announced that she took head of the Bureau for the Protection of Constitutional Officials and Diplomatic Missions Peter Krajcirovic off duty until the case is investigated. Apart from that, she said she was ready to release all bureau guards from their obligation to observe secrecy concerning the case.

When approached by TASR for comments after Kiska’s statement, Sakova’s spokesman said she doesn’t see any reason to resign, as she’s done all that was necessary and possible for her to see the case investigated. She said that this will include releasing all relevant people from their obligation to observe secrecy concerning the case. At the same time, Sakova rejected any attempts to politicise the incident.

Dennik N last week reported that Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former politician and manager of a major Vietnamese state company under prosecution in Vietnam, was kidnapped from Germany via Slovakia, with a Slovak government aircraft being used to transport him from Bratislava. Citing testimonies of some guards who requested that their names be withheld, Dennik N reported that a seemingly drunk and bruised individual at some point appeared under rather unusual circumstances as a member of the official Vietnamese delegation before it was taken to Bratislava Airport following talks with Kalinak. A senior ministry figure allegedly assured the guards that everything was in order, as Kalinak knew about it, and described it as a matter of state interest.

The Interior Ministry immediately labelled the article a fabrication and sci-fi.