Police Corps President Kovarik Steps Down

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Police Corps President Peter Kovarik (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 31 (TASR) – Police Corps President Peter Kovarik is stepping down from his post.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Kovarik stated that he had already delivered his notice to the Interior Ministry and plans to vacate the post on September 15.

“I’ve made this decision because throughout my entire professional career, and particularly in the past year, I strove to improve the trustworthiness of the Police Corps,” stated Kovarik, who can’t envision holding the position of police chief while facing criminal charges.

“Regardless of my opinion on the criminal charges pressed against me, I must accept the state of affairs as it is currently. I’m indicted,” he added.

Kovarik claimed that everyone must be held to the same standards and he couldn’t even imagine what kind of example he would have been setting for his colleagues, if he had kept the post under these circumstances.

Kovarik proposed to step down on September 15. “We still need to handle the Pope’s visit to Slovakia first,” he explained.

“I’m aware of my responsibility over the decision I made at the time of the police operation and I’m prepared to defend myself, even in the courts. I maintain that the charges against me, the way they are formulated, don’t constitute a crime,” he said.

Following his resignation, the police will likely be headed by first vice-president Jana Maskarova.

On August 26, Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office pressed charges of the misuse of public officials’ powers and obstruction of justice against Kovarik over suspicion that he obstructed a crackdown carried out by Internal Affairs Inspectorate (UIS) against an operation by National Criminal Agency (NAKA). Kovarik rejects the charges and has appealed against them.