‘Not my mistake’ minister tells committee over airline explosive bungle

Ruling coalition deputies supported Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák on Tuesday, January 19, after he appeared before the Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee, the SITA newswire reported.

Ruling coalition deputies supported Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák on Tuesday, January 19, after he appeared before the Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee, the SITA newswire reported.

Kaliňák appeared before the committee to explain an incident earlier this month during which a package containing high explosive was inadvertently placed on an international airline flight by police during a training exercise at Poprad Airport. The interior minister is responsible for policing in Slovakia.

A proposal by opposition MP Martin Pado (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, SDKÚ) that Kaliňák take personal responsibility was supported only by the committee’s four opposition MPs, the SITA reported; three coalition MPs were opposed and two abstained from voting. The minister repeated before the committee that the incident was not his mistake but the mistake of the police officer involved, SITA wrote.

Kaliňák referred to a preliminary report from the formal investigation launched into the incident but refused to make it available to deputies, saying that it was not yet complete, SITA wrote. He said he would do so within thirty days of the incident. The explosive was placed among pieces of luggage with legitimate intent, Kaliňák said. He asserted that there had been no infringement of the rights of the passenger in whose luggage the explosive was placed. The passenger was later arrested by police in Ireland during a raid on his home to recover the package.

The ministry has compensated the passenger in the case, SITA reported, but the amount of compensation has not been published. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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