Anti-Corruption Office faces its own accusations

THE INTERIOR Ministry has recently received a complaint about alleged corrupt behaviour by some highly-positioned employees of the government’s Office for the Fight against Corruption, usually called the Anti-Corruption Office. The Pravda daily broke the story on April 15 and reported that several criminal complaints have already been filed and the ministry’s internal inspection unit has launched an investigation of the allegations.

THE INTERIOR Ministry has recently received a complaint about alleged corrupt behaviour by some highly-positioned employees of the government’s Office for the Fight against Corruption, usually called the Anti-Corruption Office. The Pravda daily broke the story on April 15 and reported that several criminal complaints have already been filed and the ministry’s internal inspection unit has launched an investigation of the allegations.

According to Pravda, some officials are accused of accepting bribes for making the ‘right’ decision about launching or suspending investigations of corruption cases.

The head of the Anti-Corruption Office, Tibor Gašpar, held a press conference on April 16 to react to the accusations and said that he regards them as being part of a planned campaign to discredit his office, its management and police officers, as such. He said he had previously been notified that the allegations would be published in the media some time shortly before the parliamentary elections.

Gašpar rejected the idea that any staff in high positions were involved in the alleged incidents, saying the accusations were made towards an ordinary policeman who worked in the operations department of the office.

The internal investigation also deals with suspicions of illegally-kept money: some police officers were alleged to have been keeping 10-15 percent of the money that they were provided to use for informants in field operations, Pravda reported.

According to Gašpar, the complaint was filed by a staff member from the operations department, Ján V., against his superior.

The Sme daily reported that Ján V. was suspected of leaking sensitive information about an action to gain evidence in a specific case of economic crime. As a result, he was sent for a polygraph test along with three other staff members in which only he tested as ‘untruthful’. He was restricted from working at the Anti-Corruption Office and was to be placed in a position with less responsibility, Sme wrote.

Ján V. appealed this decision. He told Sme that he had agreed to take the test only under threat of losing his job and that while taking the test he was under medication.

On the other hand, Gašpar said Ján V. took medication in an attempt to thwart the polygraph test, Sme wrote.

The investigators from the Interior Ministry who are dealing with the case are likely to stop the investigation and declared the complaints as unjustified, Sme reported, quoting one of the investigators.


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