A delegation of MEPs visiting Slovakia expressed concerns about the fact that former interior minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) has been linked, by some media and the opposition, to the abduction of Vietnamese businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh from Germany through Slovakia, and the pro-Vladimir Putin biker group Night Wolves, which has set up a local chapter in Slovakia.
The group of MEPs came to Slovakia to review the progress made in the investigation of the murders of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée in February, to check the situation on the security of journalists as well as corruption and maintaining the principles of the rule of law.
MPs see the strong determination to investigate the murder but there are things to worry about, such as the indication of corruption, the lack of a proactive attitude to investigating corruption cases and the fact that people who had to resign from one position appeared at another.
They also noted the case of the Vietnamese citizen's abduction and the pro-Kremlin motorbike gang the Night Wolves. The name of former interior minister Robert Kaliňák is connected with both of them.
“Corruption appears in every state, but the involvement of the minister is especially concerning,” said Sophie in’t Veld, head of the delegation, as quoted by the SITA newswire.EP delegation: Slovak authorities have trust issues Read more
They understand that the prosecutor cannot provide them with all the information, while they see a strong attempt to investigate the murder as soon as possible.
However, they do not understand why Tibor Gašpar, who was forced to leave his position of Police President, only shifteed to the position of the adviser of Interior Minister Denisa Saková. In their opinion, new Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer), who replaced Robert Fico in the spring, and his government seem to be determined to make changes in the country, but they appear not to be able to leave the past far behind.
A delegation of MEPs visited Slovakia shortly after the murder of journalists Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. Ingeborg Grässle stated then that the government should address the suspicions of government employees connected to organised crime. In the report the MPs stated that Slovaks do not trust state institutions and that law enforcement is the greatest problem.