President: Slovak Expert Should Help in Investigation into Chovanec’s Death

President Zuzana Caputova making statement on Chovanec's case in Bratislava on September 10, 2020 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 10 (TASR) – The presence of a Slovak expert in the investigation into the tragic death of Slovak national Jozef Chovanec in Belgium in 2018 may help better clarify the circumstances of the case and bring more confidence in the entire investigation process, I’ll therefore ask Belgium to take this requirement of Chovanec’s family into account, President Zuzana Caputova said in a statement on Thursday, adding that a death suspected to have occurred as a result of a police action is unjustifiable.

The head of state suggested to the family of Jozef Chovanec to consider the participation of a Slovak expert. It decided to use this opportunity. “I’m convinced that this step can help the credibility of the investigation in the eyes of the Slovak and Belgian public. Consequently, as head of state, I’ll ask the Belgian side to take this request of the bereaved into account,” said Caputova.

The president condemned all forms of police brutality against a citizen of any country. “A death, which is suspected to have occurred as a result of a police action, is unjustifiable and the published footage from the detention room must have caused anger and horror in everyone of us,” she said.

Chovanec died in February 2018 following a tussle with the police at Brussels South Charleroi Airport and subsequent inappropriate action by the Belgian police. This action is still a subject of judicial inquiry.