Interior Minister rejects prosecutor’s allegations of high-level corruption

Topical issue

Interior Minister rejects prosecutor’s allegations of high-level corruption

09. 03. 2018 14:17

On Thursday, Vasiľ Špirko, a prosecutor from the Special Prosecutor's Office declared in front of a media gathering that he has unearthed detailed proof of high-level corruption within the government. Allegedly, hundreds of millions of euro were syphoned from the Interior Ministry and subsequently cleaned through business activities. Additionally, Špirko stated that in the coming days he will file a criminal complaint against Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer-SD), claiming that he himself was discredited for his work which involved investigating corruption in Slovakia.

At a press conference held on Thursday evening, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák rejected the accusations by the Special Prosecutor, calling it absurd. Kaliňák rejected each of the allegations of bribery, money laundering as well as efforts to discredit Špirko.

"I've been in politics for years, and I haven't heard such absurd accusations as those made by Mr. Vasiľ Špirko for a long time. He alleges that we took bribes worth €200 million for fictitious deliveries of network component systems and that we laundered this money and legalised it via a company called FoRest. All of this was supposedly followed by my personal vendetta against him in the form of a criminal prosecution waged by me with an eye towards discrediting him and his family," stated Kaliňák.

The minister claimed that he doesn't know of any process or system for stealing €200 million from a €16-million contract, adding that tenders held by the Interior Ministry were audited by the previous Cabinet of Iveta Radičová (2010-12). The minister also rejects allegations of money laundering via FoRest, maintaining that the firm has never seen any incomes other than from running a chain of restaurants. Kaliňák added that Špirko is in cahoots with the Opposition and he believes the timing of the allegations is suspicious.

President Andrej Kiska considers the accusations made by the prosecutor against the interior minister as being extraordinarily serious. According to president's spokesperson, Roman Krpelan, Kiska expects the relevant state bodies to take the allegations seriously.

Gavin Shoebridge Foto: TASR

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