Businessman Ladislav Bašternák’s efforts to avoid paying a fine for a road traffic offence using his contacts within the police is a mockery of honest people who must obey the rules.
Opposition MPs Ľubomír Galko of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), Richard Vašečka and Daniel Lipšic both from OĽaNO-NOVA stated this at a news conference held on parliament premises on June 9.
Lipšic opened the case on June 7 during a parliamentary session focusing on an opposition-initiated no-confidence vote of the Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák over his alleged involvement in another Bašternák case related to taxes.
Before the session Lipšic promised he would provide further evidence of Kaliňák’s involvement with Bašternák. During the parliamentary debate he produced police records that he said prove that a high-ranking police officer told two police officers who stopped Bašternák in his car while patrolling on Bratislava’s roads and wanted to fine him €150 for violating traffic rules, to let the businessman be. This according to Lipšic happened in June 2012.
Bašternák allegedly called someone asking them to deal with his problem. Following that, the police officers got the call from their superior telling them to let Bašternák drive away. Despite that, the officers continued dealing with Bašternák and wanted to hold his driving licence. In the end Bašternák paid the fine.
A police record that Lipšic has at his disposal allegedly attests to these efforts. Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák of Smer recently described it as a fake document. Vašecka and Galko are resolved to convene a special meeting of the parliamentary defence committee on the issue. Both of them are members of this committee.
“We’d like to submit a proposal to convene the meeting next week,” said Vašečka.
Vašečka and Galko are currently collecting the MPs’ signatures needed to do this. They have already approached opposition lawmakers.
Bašternák has links to police officers who sought to cover for him, according to the opposition MPs who called this a misuse of a public official’s powers. At the committee session they want to discuss potential links to the police that Bašternák has allegedly used to his benefit.
Kaliňák should not turn a blind eye to this, as he is damaging the government’s reputation not only at home, but also abroad, according to opposition MPs.
The three opposition MPs view Bašternák’s behaviour as arrogant. They claim that the Interior Minister’s inspection probably swept the potential influence of police officers from higher authorities under the carpet.
Galko and Vašečka called on Kaliňák to relieve the police patrol that stopped Bašternák of its obligation of confidentiality. However, they assume that he will not do so. Meanwhile, they called on Kaliňák to step down from his post, thereby enabling a proper investigation into the Bašternák tax-related case concerning VAT refunds amounting to millions of euros.
“Bašternák should have been sitting behind bars a long time ago,” said Galko, as quoted by TASR.
10. Jun 2016 at 7:52 | Compiled by Spectator staff