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Prosecutor may be punished for talking to journalists

Neither the punishment nor the accusations have been specified yet.

Prosecutor Vasiľ Špirko(Source: SME)

Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik is proposing to punish prosecutor Vasiľ Špirko for talking to journalists about the serious corruption suspicions. He submitted a disciplinary motion against Špirko on March 28.

Spokesperson for the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Jana Tökölyová, did not specify what kind of punishment they are asking for or what Kováčik has accused the prosecutor of, the Denník N daily reported.

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

“We’ll not comment on the details that will be the subject of scrutiny into the prosecutor’s disciplinary responsibility by the disciplinary commission,” Tökölyová said, as quoted by Denník N.

The daily pointed out that potential punishment might include deduction from salary, transfer to another prosecutor’s office or the strictest punishment: expulsion from the prosecutor’s office.

Špirko says he learned about the proposal to launch the disciplinary proceeding from media and rejected to comment on it for now.

What did Špirko say?

On March 8, Špirko told the journalists that in 2016 he started investigating a million euro corruption case involving a state order of the Interior Ministry. The main suspects were ex-interior minister Robert 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.

Read also:Prosecutor accuses the interior minister of corruption scheme

One day later, the General Prosecutor’s Office organised a press conference where both Kováčik and General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár criticised him. The latter even called it “a garden party” and said he should have done it in a meeting room instead of the space in front of the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

They also did not like the fact that the press conference took place one day before the March 9 protest in Bratislava, Denník N reported.

Kováčik said that the prosecutors cannot inform the journalists in similar way, as it is forbidden by the internal regulations.

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