Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said on April 8 that he would not resign over the mistreatment of young Roma boys by police officers in eastern Slovakia, indicating that the mistakes related to individuals, not the police force as a whole – therefore the principle of executive responsibility does not apply, the TASR newswire wrote.
On March 21, eight police took six Roma youths into custody for questioning after they allegedly mugged an elderly woman. They were then forced to strip naked and slap each other as well as to undergo other abuses, while police officers videotaped the incident. Subsequently, the media obtained a copy of the video.
Speaking after the weekly government session, Kaliňák went on to say that it is sad that a few individuals can harm the work of thousands of police officers. He expressed his strong disapproval of the officers' conduct.
“It cannot happen that police themselves punish street thieves and muggers. We have courts for that," he said.
Kaliňák said nine officers have been discharged from the police force for gross violation of the police oath and ministry inspectors were ordered to launch a criminal prosecution for abuse of public office over the incident.
This mistreatment of young Roma boys in Kosice by policemen isn't sufficient reason for Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák to step down from his ministerial post, opposition KDH vice-chairman and former Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic told journalists on April 8.
“I don't think that Kaliňák is a good minister, but he shouldn't resign over this case,” said Lipšic. In his opinion, it's not enough to dismiss police chiefs of local departments, but rather it should be done at the regional level. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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10. Apr 2009 at 10:00