Around 80 percent of the information stated in a criminal complaint filed by Jozef Žaťko, a former employee of the Office for Protection of Public Officials, has proved to be untrue and the remaining 20 percent will be examined, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) said on Monday, March 22.
Kaliňák was speaking in reference to recently published claims that drivers working at the office, which comes under the Interior Ministry, have been siphoning and selling fuel from the department's vehicles. The Sme daily reported recently that the drivers are allowed 19 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres driven. It has been claimed that if they drive economically, they can save dozens of litres and sell the spare fuel or appropriate it for their own personal use.
"Impartial inspections will bring some results and we'll announce those. Things like this happen," Kaliňák told the TASR newswire after a session of the Parliamentary Committee for Protection and Safety during which he provided documents concerning the matter. The allegations are now being verified by the Interior Ministry Inspectorate, but Žaťko has not yet been questioned as he has refused to testify.
According to Kaliňák, the accusation that senior officers encouraged drivers to steal petrol "is among the 80 percent of lies that appeared there."
"Almost 50 people have already been interrogated concerning this matter, but nobody has confirmed it," Kaliňák stated, adding that he believed the Slovak Office for Protection of Public Officials is among the best of its kind in the world. Referring to Žaťko, he said: "A person who failed in his work was replaced. I'm not really surprised at such a knee-jerk reaction. But we'd be happy to look into the other things as well." Kaliňák said that he personally rules out the possibility that an organised system of petrol theft could exist at the office.
Source: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Mar 2010 at 10:00