Herak Gives Up Seat in Parliament, Denies Charges
Bratislava, June 9 (TASR) – I’ve yielded my seat in Parliament, Independent MP Jan Herak told a press conference on Wednesday.
Herak is facing charges of sexual abuse of a minor. With his decision he wants to protect his family, denying the charges.
Herak says that the media have made him the “dirtiest guy” and politics isn’t worth it. “I’m not giving up my seat to be pressured by the media into confessing to something,” he said, adding that he has a clear conscience and that the directors of the centres for children and families know about it. “I’d never dare to sexually abuse a child,” he said, noting that he isn’t avoiding any responsibility. He stated that it’s in his interest that everything will be properly investigated, he’ll continue to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. He added that he hadn’t yet been questioned by the police.
Herak further stated that a number of false accusations had been made against him, reiterating that he is a former inmate of an orphanage and has been organising children’s summer camps for almost 16 years, and they were attended by more than 10,000 children from all over Slovakia. “If I did something, I wouldn’t have enough confidence in many directors,” he added.
According to him, he learnt about the renewal of the case from 2018 on Wednesday. Herak claims that the minor girl made up that he had raped her. He stressed that at his initiative he went with the girl to a gynaecological examination, which ruled out the act. According to him, the police also questioned him at that time.
Herak announced when the charges were pressed in May that he’s confident he’ll be able to prove his innocence, claiming that he was ready to cooperate fully with law enforcement. In late May, the MP suspended his membership of the OLaNO caucus until the case is investigated. He’s been operating as an Independent MP since then.
Herak organises summer camps for children, often for those from orphanages, incomplete families and marginalised communities. “I understand that children sometimes have the urge to make things up and to draw attention to themselves,” he remarked regarding the charges.
According to information that has appeared in the media, the police have decided to reopen a case from 2018, when Herak was investigated over suspicions of the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl.