Kaliňák skips parliamentary session to attend funeral of slain mountain climber

The session of the parliamentary committee for defence and security, at which its members were to discuss the unorthodox and suspect methods used by Slovak police during their interrogation of Martina Ruttkayová Tvardzíková, a reporter for the Hospodárske Noviny daily, did not take place. Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák failed to show up at the session, for which he was criticised by the opposition, which sought to question him on the status of the case, the TASR newswire reported on July 2.

The session of the parliamentary committee for defence and security, at which its members were to discuss the unorthodox and suspect methods used by Slovak police during their interrogation of Martina Ruttkayová Tvardzíková, a reporter for the Hospodárske Noviny daily, did not take place. Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák failed to show up at the session, for which he was criticised by the opposition, which sought to question him on the status of the case, the TASR newswire reported on July 2.

The reporter was questioned about the leak of classified information in the case of alleged tunnelling at the former Military Intelligence Service (VSS). The Sme daily reported that the police asked Tvardzíková whether it was appropriate for her as a mother to maintain contacts with someone like Mikulec, who is under criminal investigation. Mikulec has been accused of leaking confidential information.

The reporter has said she intends to file a complaint against the police over what she called an intimidating interrogation that occurred after she submitted to the police confidential documents that she received pertaining to the VSS.

Yet, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry Lucia Garajová said that Kaliňák could not come as he, together with Prime Minister Robert Fico, was attending the scheduled state funeral held for Mountain Rescue Service member Peter Šperka in Horný Smokovec, Prešov Region, who was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan. Garajová added that the minister rightfully apologised for his absence in advance, as reported by TASR.

Independent MP Daniel Lipšic said he thinks that the fact the session was convened by the committee chair, Jaroslav Baška, at a time when the funeral was being held “denigrates the memory of this tragedy’s victims to a certain degree, as the session is convened at a time when the minister is clearly unable to come”, as reported by TASR. Lipšic added that Baška could easily have scheduled the session for a different day.

According to Baška, it is normal for any reporter to be questioned by police. He added that reporters are citizens of the country like any other, and police routinely summon politicians and lawmakers for questioning as well. He added that the Office of the Special Prosecutor is prohibited from informing about the case, as reported by TASR.

Lipšic said that the opposition members of the committee are willing to come to a session whenever Kaliňák chooses, as reported by TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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