LAST YEAR, as the Robert Fico government was beginning its term in office and appointing a raft of new senior officials, Stanislav Jankovič was the hot favourite to become Slovakia’s new national police chief. Allegations that he had been involved in the cover-up of a speeding offence involving businessman Ján Božík meant that he instead ended up being appointed advisor to Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, who has responsibility for the police. Now, however, Jankovič, a former Police Corps vice-president, has been forced to quit his Interior Ministry role following the publication of transcripts of wire-tapped conversations between himself and Libor Jakšík, the alleged head of an organised crime gang in Bratislava, the Sme daily reported on May 2.
Journalist Tom Nicholson, a former editor-in-chief of The Slovak Spectator, published the transcripts on his blog, noting that they indicate that the two men were on familiar terms and planned to set up a meeting to deal with Jakšík’s ‘problems’.
Jankovič told the Sme daily that he resigned from the post because he did not want to harm the reputation of the police and the Interior Ministry and “it is not in my interest to [let] anybody heal their inferiority complex through my person”. He did not explain what he meant by the comment.
Kaliňák responded that he had not known about the contacts between Jankovič and Jakšík until he read Nicholson’s blog. However, he added that this proves that the police act independently “since only the investigation team knew about the monitoring of suspected people”, Sme wrote.
According to Nicholson’s blog, published on the Sme.sk website, the Specialised Criminal Court in Banská Bystrica authorised the bugging of Jakšík’s telephone from June 2010 and transcripts made soon after that indicate that the businessman had influential contacts, including among the then top management of the Police Corps as well as people at the Office of the General Prosecutor.
One day after the bugging started, the police recorded a conversation with Jankovič in which Jakšík complains about what he calls attacks “from the bodies you are responsible for”, according to the transcripts published by Nicholson. The two men also try to arrange a meeting.
Jankovič was previously investigated in September 2011, after Ján Božík was caught driving at 190 kilometres per hour on the R1 dual carriageway in June 2010. Police officers fined him €400 and, when he refused to pay the fine, confiscated his driving licence. Božík then allegedly called Jankovič, who later arrived at a police station in Žiar nad Hronom in person and reportedly asked for Božík’s licence to be returned and for his offence to be deleted from the public record, Sme wrote when reporting about the case.
The pair’s alleged telephone conversation was recorded as Božík’s telephone calls were being intercepted as part of an investigation into suspicions of corruption. The prosecutor in the case, Tibor Šumichrast, said that the recordings were not admissible in the Jankovič case since they were made as part of a different investigation. However, in March 2012 deputy general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka said that the recordings could be used, despite their original purpose being completely different, Sme wrote.
However, the criminal investigation into Jankovič’s involvement in the Božík case was then halted in April 2012 by the prosecutor’s office, citing a lack of evidence.
With press reports
6. May 2013 at 0:00 | Radka Minarechová