With a delay of one hour and forty minutes, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič finally left on his official visit to the Czech Republic on Monday, June 29, after the take-off of his aircraft was held up due to a bomb threat, the TASR newswire reported.
The departure of the plane was stopped shortly before the aircraft was about to take off. Fire-fighters, medical staff and police officers with a sniffer dog were called in.
Referring to information provided by the Interior Ministry, Gašparovič's spokesman Marek Trubač said that a call was made stating that there was a bomb onboard the plane. The caller has already been placed under arrest. All passengers left the aircraft while police officers unloaded part of the luggage and the dog searched for explosives. One piece of luggage was removed and investigated 500 metres away from the plane, but was put back on board 20 minutes later.
The schedule of Gašparovič's trip was modified and a joint press conference featuring Gasparovic and Czech head of state Vaclav Klaus was cancelled. Later in the day the Slovak head of state met the chairs of both chambers of the Czech Parliament - Přemysl Sobotka, who is the chairman of the upper chamber, also called the Senate, and Miroslav Vlček, who heads the Parliament's lower chamber, also known as the Chamber of Deputies. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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