The pressure on Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák to resign intensified after prosecutor of the Special Prosecutors Office, Vasiľ Špirko, announced on March 8th that he was filing a criminal complaint against him and top police officers for alleged involvement in a corruption scheme.
In reaction to Špirkos accusations, Kaliňák did not directly answer the question of whether he was going to resign. He labelled Špirko's statements as absurd, denied the accusations voiced by Špirko and suggested that it was peculiar that Špirko made them public just before the public gatherings.
"I really do not see how one could steal 200 million from a 16-million contract," Kaliňák said as quoted by the Sme daily. Špirko, in his statement for the media earlier today, described a scheme that was meant to legalise money "earned" from corruption practices of up to €200 million. One of those cases was the order of IT devices for the Interior Ministry that Špirko described in more detail.
Kaliňák, much like Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar who is also among the people Špirko blew the whistle on, insisted that it was neither him nor the police who filed the criminal complaint against Špirko, but it was an ordinary person, the man whom Špirko labelled as the key witness.
"I have answered all the accusations and these arguments prove the absurdity of this accusation," Kaliňák told journalists as quoted by Sme. " The statements of Mr Špirko are absolutely characteristic of a witch hunt."
Kaliňák insists that while he has been minister, not one euro has been paid out from the Interior Ministry tender that Špirko talked about.
The Opposition and people who are expected to gather in the squares of Slovak cities again on Friday, have been calling on Kaliňák to resign from his post. Most-Híd, a coalition partner, said they wanted Kaliňák to step down too, but left it up to Smer to act. Most-Híd leader, Béla Bugár, is expected back from holiday on Friday to start talks with his coalition partners. Prime Minister Robert Fico said the result of the talks will be announced on Monday, or Tuesday at the latest. The SITA newswire reported that Kaliňák was going to resign on Monday.
President Andrej Kiska also reacted to the accusations voiced by Špirko and branded them "exceptionally serious". He said he expects the respective prosecution bodies to look into them, his spokesperson Roman Krpelan informed, as reported by Sme.
9. Mar 2018 at 1:36 | Compiled by Spectator staff