Regional police directorates earlier this week sent e-mails to district directorates throughout Slovakia demanding statistics on suicides related to non-banking institutions in a quest to defame presidential candidate Andrej Kiska, leader of non-parliamentary party NOVA Daniel Lipšic said March 19.
At a press conference, he also cited an e-mail sent from an unnamed regional directorate: “I was also requested that you should find out, if possible, by 15:00 [on Wednesday], the possible motives related to the bankruptcy of non-banking institutions, etc.”
Lipšic said that Prime Minister Robert Fico who is facing Kiska in the presidential run-off March 29 has promised to present evidence of human tragedies related to Kiska’s business activities in the past. According to Lipšic, many people confuse hire-purchase companies Triangel and Quatro co-founded by Kiska and sold to VÚB bank in 2005 with financial companies providing easy loans to low-income groups at exorbitant interest rates. Fico, well aware of this, is attempting to misuse this confusion, said Lipšic.
“This is proof that Fico is misusing his position in the presidential campaign,” Lipšic said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “It’s a proof that Fico doesn’t shy away from misusing the Police Corps for producing defaming materials against his rival in the presidential elections. I view this as unacceptable.”
The police were collecting statistics on suicides related to the bankruptcy of non-banking institutions BMG Invest, Horizont Slovakia and Drukos and the activities of freelance sellers who misuse the elderly to sell them poor-quality goods, but they certainly weren’t collecting any evidence to be misused against Kiska, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák reacted on the same day. When asked why the police needed the statistics within a single day, minister said that it may have been related to some conference of top regional police officials on the topic. To a question as to whether he can guarantee that the data aren’t being misused in the campaign, Kaliňák replied, as quoted by TASR, that “there’s nothing to be misused”.
Police also wrote, according to the Sme daily, that the data on suicides was collected for the regular monthly meeting of the police leadership and that the goal was to “handle deaths, including suicides, in a more professional and expert way”. Police claim that the scrutiny should not have involved hire-purchase companies, “and we were interested in the years 2007-2014, the period when the presidential candidate was not in the companies involved anymore”.
Former police president Jaroslav Spišiak said for Sme that under his helm police was investigating the reasons of suicides, too – but without focusing specifically on unlicensed loan- and hire-purchase companies,
(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.
20. Mar 2014 at 10:00