Slovakia did not participate in the abduction of Vietnamese businessman Trinh Xuan Thanha of Germany, said Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer) during his visit to Berlin on May 2.
The documents provided by Interior Minister Denisa Saková (Smer) suggest that nobody bearing this name travelled by the Slovak governmental plane last year, the TASR newswire reported.
Nevertheless, Pellegrini and State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ivan Korčok, agreed on inviting the Vietnamese ambassador to Slovakia to explain the circumstances of last year’s flight to Moscow, for which the Slovak governmental jet was borrowed. He is expected to come on May 3.
However, German authorities have been communicating with Slovakia for about nine months already, the Sme daily reported.
Pellegrini plans to turn to intelligence
“As a prime minister, I reject a claim that Slovakia has participated in any way in some transport of a kidnapped Vietnamese citizen,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR, adding that he has no such information.
Not even the documents he received from Saková indicate that the person in question was aboard. Pellegrini plans to turn to Slovakia’s intelligence services and ask them whether they have information on such activities. The Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency refuses to comment on the case, referring to the ongoing legal dispute in Germany, Sme reported.
The prime minister admitted that the person in question could have been taken to the plane and that “Slovakia’s hospitability” could have been abused. However, nothing indicates this yet, he added, as reported by TASR.
Apart from the diplomacy, police are also interested in the case, which has been confirmed by both the Interior Ministry and the General Prosecutor’s Office. The case concerns three criminal cases in which it has provided or is still providing legal aid to the German judicial bodies, Sme reported.
“The communication in the matter has taken place via Slovak police attaché in Berlin,” said Andrea Predajňová, spokesperson for the General Prosecutor’s Office, as quoted by Sme.
The Interior Minister, meanwhile, does not want to publish a list of passengers travelling by the governmental plane, or to disclose under which conditions the passengers flew by plane. It only admits that it communicates with the German partners, as reported by Sme.
Merkel will visit Slovakia
The topic was discussed at Pellegrini’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Everything that will help with clarification needs to be put on the table and the prime minister promised me cooperation,” she said at the press conference, as quoted by TASR, adding that they also need the information in connection with the trial of one of the kidnappers.
Pellegrini refused the claim that Slovakia’s decision to invite the Vietnamese ambassador 10 months after the scandal emerged in Germany was too late, explaining that he started to deal with it as soon as he learned about it, as reported by TASR.
The two also discussed the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, with Merkel expecting that Slovakia will do everything possible to clarify the crime.
Moreover, Merkel accepted Pellegrini’s invitation to visit Slovakia. She will arrive in autumn, to attend the meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries, TASR wrote.
3. May 2018 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff