Jozef Vojdula, head of the Prešov regional police, has come to the aid of a colleague accused of racism in a way that "was exceedingly surprising and disappointing," said Interior Minister Ivan Šimko.
Vojdula was defending a policeman from the village of Jarovnice who allegedly asked a reporter with the Roma newspaper Romano nevo l'il to show him a hygiene certificate before he would shake her hand. "Policemen are obliged to take care of their health," said the Prešov police chief.
The reporter, Denisa Havrľová, laid a complaint over the incident with the Interior Ministry; Vojdula said the policeman in question had later laid charges against the reporter for assault on a public official. "All journalists know that information is given to the media by spokespeople, not regular policemen. We can't rule out the possibility that the journalist was trying to provoke him."