Prosecutor’s office starts prosecuting ex-minister Kaliňák for sabotage

The General Prosecutor’s Office has 30 days to decide whether it will charge Kaliňák based on the criminal complaint of special prosecutor Vasiľ Špirko.

Interior Minister Robert KaliňákInterior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Source: SME)

The General Prosecutor’s Office will launch an investigation of the outgoing interior minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) for the crime of sabotage, the Sme daily wrote on March 13.

This prosecution will be based on the criminal complaint of Special Prosecutor’s Office prosecutor, Vasiľ Špirko, who last week accused Kaliňák, together with police leadership, of marring the investigation of a case in which the minister was directly suspected of corruption.

What is the charge?

Kaliňák committed sabotage, according to Špirko, together with Police President Tibor Gašpar, head of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) Peter Hraško, and head of the National Anti-corruption Unit Robert Krajmer. While the minister has already announced his resignation, the other three involved officials remain in their positions for now.

Sabotage is among the gravest crimes, and the sentence for those found guilty is between four and 10 years; and in some special cases even a life sentence. The law stipulates that anyone who intends to harm the constitutional establishment and abuses their position to mar or increase the difficulty of fulfilling a crucial task of a state body commits sabotage.

Špirko’s criminal complaint will be checked by the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO), which now has 30 days to decide whether it is launching a criminal prosecution in the case. However, GPO head, Jaromír Čižnár, has already showed disdain towards Špirko’s steps, calling his press briefing “a garden party”.

The first time in history

This is the first time a special prosecutor has filed criminal complaint involving a minister, but it must be treated as an ordinary citizen’s.

Špirko described how in 2016 he started investigating a million-euro corruption case involving a state order of the Interior Ministry. The main suspects were Kaliňák and former finance and transport minister, Ján Počiatek, both from the Smer party. After Špirko started dealing with the case, he was promptly accused of abusing the powers of a public official and all his cases were taken. The investigation ended with the conclusion that he did not commit any crime. The ensuing disciplinary proceeding did not discover any fault, either. But the crucial corruption case was concluded by another prosecutor as not substantiated.

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