A new political crisis on the horizon?

Topical issue

A new political crisis on the horizon?

07. 08. 2018 14:22

Interior Minister Denisa Saková (SMER-SD) has lost President Andrej Kiska's trust and, in his words, she may even be an obstacle in the way of investigating the alleged kidnapping of the Vietnamese national Trinh Xuan Thanh aboard a Slovak government aircraft one year ago. Kiska considers her to be former Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák's right-hand woman. Last week, Denník N, which cooperates with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in this case, quoted a handful of Slovak policemen who hinted that the Slovak Interior Minister at the time, Robert Kaliňák, might have been involved in the kidnapping. The allegations caused President Andrej Kiska to meet with the prime minister, the prosecutor general and the parliamentary chairperson on Monday. Kiska calls for specific government measures to enable Slovak law enforcement authorities to investigate this case thoroughly. Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini told journalists that the interior minister's foremost role is to ensure a fair investigation into the case of the kidnapping of the Vietnamese businessman. "Today, without knowing the results of the investigation or any other circumstances, declaring that someone trusts or distrusts her, is, I think, more about politics than real facts," said the Prime Minister. Prosecutor General Jaromír Čižnár criticized President Andrej Kiska's statement saying it was "politically oriented".

Interior Minister Denisa Saková (Smer-SD) continues to deny any wrongdoing and has decided to place Peter Krajčírovič, the director of the Bureau for the Protection of Constitutional Officials (UOUC), off duty until the circumstances regarding the Vietnamese businessman's kidnapping are investigated. "Following an agreement with the Prosecutor General's (PG) Office, the Interior Ministry's Inspection Service Section will start an investigation in this case. It will be carried out under the supervision of prosecutors from Bratislava-based Regional Prosecutor's Office who will participate with them in-person in order to ensure maximum possible objectiveness and lawfulness," said the ministry's spokesperson Peter Lazarov. Former Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák rejected the accusations of involvement in the kidnapping and said that the policemen interviewed by Denník N were imaginary.

In the ruling coalition, Robert Fico, the leader of the largest party SMER-SD, who was Slovak Prime Minister at the time, accused the media, NGO, Opposition and President Kiska of artificially creating another wave of attacks against the government and the SMER-SD party. Meanwhile, the junior partner Most-Híd party has called for the demanding of personal responsibility for the case. It labelled the abduction case as unprecedented and prompted taking immediate action. Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko who is also the leader of the third coalition member, the Slovak National Party, said it's important to maintain calm and let the respective authorities take action.

Anca Dragu, Photo: TASR

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