President: Coordination between the police and prosecutor’s office failed

Čaputová met Police Corps President Lučanský and GP Čižnár over Trnka’s dropped charges.

President Zuzana Čaputová talks about her meeting with Police Corps President Milan Lučanský and General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár on January 22, 2020President Zuzana Čaputová talks about her meeting with Police Corps President Milan Lučanský and General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár on January 22, 2020 (Source: TASR)

The coordination between the police investigators and the prosecutor overseeing the case failed regarding charges against the former general prosecutor.

President Zuzana Čaputová has agreed on that with Police Corps President Milan Lučanský and General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár.

She decided to seek an explanation from Lučanský and Čižnár regarding why charges against ex-general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka were dropped, and why he had previously been detained and immediately released, despite strong evidence he had endangered the rule of law in Slovakia. She referred to a leaked video recorded in Trnka’s office a few years ago.

“I fully respect the independence of the investigation, and I left a level of disclosure of information up to them,” Čaputová said in her statement.

Čaputová added the investigation of scandals like the one concerning Trnka must be based on the effective coordination between an investigator and supervising prosecutor.

The general prosecutor and the police corps president agreed.

Police Corps President Lučanský, however, added in his statement to journalists after the meeting that the police investigator followed the Criminal Code.

Lučanský and Čižnár do not oppose Čaputová

Lučanský and Čižnár assured the president that all suspicions are still being investigated.

Lučanský added he does not mind if the President or the PM demands information regarding certain cases, but he will decide what he will tell them so as not to threaten the work of investigators.

“When it comes to the Dobroslav Trnka case, I can say, for now, an investigator received a resolution on dropping a charge,” Lučanský said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He refused to give more details.

A prosecutor’s lawful steps

On the day Čižnár met with Čaputová, the General Prosecutor’s Office also issued a statement, saying the prosecutor from the Special Prosecutor’s Office who allowed for Trnka's release and dropped charges against him did everything in accordance with the law.

Trnka cannot be charged with the abuse of authority in this case, according to the Criminal Code, the General Prosecutor’s Office added.

“From the conducted investigation so far, it is obvious the former general prosecutor, by filing an extraordinary appeal, exercised his powers in accordance with law and prevented economic damage that the Slovak Republic would have to bear,” Čižnár’s statement reads, as quoted by TASR.

However, he admitted there was no coordination between the police and the supervising prosecutor in this serious criminal matter.

“We need trust in the institutions that protect the law, because without it we cannot trust in the rule of law,” Čaputová said.

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