General prosecutor: Some police chiefs act unlawfully in Kuciak investigation

Jaromír Čižnár criticised the failures of police, prosecutors and Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná.

General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár (r)General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár (r) (Source: SME)

High-level police officers should not access information from the file regarding the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. The only ones entitled to do so are the investigator and the prosecutor, General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár told the press on May 9.

However, the fact is that departing Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar has informed about partial and unconfirmed findings concerning the double murder several times.

Read also:International team will help investigate Kuciak’s murder Read more 

“They aren’t law enforcement bodies,” Čižnár said, as quoted by the Sme daily. “If they have access to the information, they do so at odds with the law.”

The general prosecutor indicated that there is “a warning system” at the police, which emerged after introducing the Infotok information system. It is used for cases involving sensitive information that can get into the wrong hands.

Inspection into Kuciak’s findings

The representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office also told the press about the results of the inspection involving the police and prosecutors mentioned in Kuciak's last, unfinished article. He mentioned several criminal proceedings concerning the business activities of Italian mafia in the east.

They revealed nine errors made by prosecutors and police officers in 56 files. Čižnár has rejected to reveal their names, but said that one deputy prosecutor in the east has already resigned from his post, Sme wrote.

Apart from the Italian mafia, Kuciak wrote about top police officials with links to the security company Bonul which has won several state orders, while its head Miroslav Bödör has links to top Smer representatives. The stories also pertained to Gašpar who, according to Sme revelations, is Bödör’s brother-in-law. Bödör himself has said that their grandmothers are sisters, as reported by the daily.

Read also:Kušnírová’s mother represented by Hedviga Malinová's lawyer Read more 

As a result, one of the scenarios investigators are working with is the suspicion that Kuciak and Kušnírová’s murder was ordered by somebody from this group, lawyer Roman Kvasnica, who represents Kušnírová’s mother Zlatica, told Sme.

Čižnár indirectly criticised Gašpar for providing unverified information in the case in early March.

Dubious information flow

Čižnár also mentioned the National Criminal Agency's (NAKA) information system into which investigators put all information they have investigated or verified. As a result, the head of NAKA and the Police Corps president have the access to all information in Infotok, while heads of NAKA’s departments and their deputies can access partial information.

Read also:Police are manipulating crime statistics, NGO claims Read more 

The fact that the information system is abused at the police office was confirmed by several police officers in an anonymous poll published by the Stop Corruption Foundation and the Trend weekly in early April. Thanks to the system, political nominees could check the investigation of sensitive cases.

“You know as well as I do what flows through there,” Čižnár said, as quoted by Sme. “It's a needless flow. It’s in fact a warning system. It’s something where everybody finds what they need.”

Criticism towards Matečná

The general prosecutor discussed the meeting with farmers that took place last week as well. These farmers have been describing how organised groups with links to investigators take their land and both the police and the prosecutor’s office ignore their complaints.

Read also:Kuciak Sr: I do not believe justice will be served Read more 

“I can’t say what I think about it because it wouldn’t be nice,” Čižnár said, as quoted by Sme. “I believe they are telling truth, the state is absolutely failing in these areas.”

He criticised Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná for avoiding the farmers. She should make order in the system of redistributing subsidies, he added.

“Nobody should dare tell me that they did not know about these practices,” the general prosecutor concluded, as quoted by Sme.

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