A FRENCH legionnaire of Slovak nationality who has died in a military operation in Mali on May 9 is not likely to be paid ceremonial tribute in Slovakia, the Pravda daily reported.
The French media reported that Staff Sergeant of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment stationed in Calvi, Marcel Kalafut, aged 26, was killed on May 9 night during an anti-jihadist operation in the Tegharghar Mountains.
His vehicle hit a home-made explosive device, which also left two other soldiers injured and subsequently hospitalized.
Kalafut had however failed to ask the Slovak president for entry into the army of a foreign country and thus committed a crime based on the Slovak legislation, Pravda reported.
The Slovak Foreign Ministry was not able to confirm whether it is soldier of Slovak nationality. The Slovak Embassy in Paris learned about the tragedy from the media, said the ministry’s spokesman Boris Gandel.
"In the case of members of the foreign legion the French side refuses to prove any information about their identity including their nationality,” he said as quoted by Pravda. “These members usually gain French citizenship and their identity is usually changed.”
The French side secures the transport of the bodily remains and it also communicates with families, Gandel added.
The death of the legionnaire was announced by French Defence Minister Jean-Yves de Drain. President Francois Hollande paid tribute to the fallen legionnaire in a televised speech.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
12. May 2014 at 13:00