Former top police officials taken into custody

The court released those detained during the Purgatory operation who have cooperated with the police.

Former police corps president Tibor Gašpar leaving interrogation.Former police corps president Tibor Gašpar leaving interrogation. (Source: SME)

Former police corps president Tibor Gašpar, detained in early November, was taken into custody.

Apart from him, the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok decided on November 8 on the custody of other former police representatives arrested during the Očistec (Purgatory) operation. This includes former head of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) Róbert Krajmer, deputy head of NAKA’s financial unit Milan Mihálik, ex-head of the financial intelligence unit at NAKA Marián Zetocha, and former head of the Interior Ministry’s economic department Martin Fleischer.

Related articleFormer police president detained in operation Purgatory Read more 

Later that day, the court also approved the custody of Peter Hraško, former NAKA head, although his health problems made it impossible to interrogate him, the Sme daily reported.

Gašpar, Mihálik and Krajmer have challenged the decision.

At the same time, the court did not take two more people detained and charged during the Purgatory operation, namely Ivan Bobocký of NAKA and Bernard Slobodník, former head of NAKA’s financial unit. Both have already confessed to the deeds they have been charged with.

NAKA detained eight former high-ranking police officials on November 5 and charged them with establishing and supporting an organised crime group, committing corruption-related crimes, and abusing the powers of public officials. Altogether 11 people have been accused in the case, Sme wrote.

Meetings on the sixth floor

“I personally don’t doubt that there is enough evidence against the detained to prove their guilt,” said PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) during the political talk show Sobotné Dialógy (Saturday Dialogues), broadcast by the public-service RTVS on November 7.

Related articleStorm transforms into Gale. More judges and an influential businessman detained Read more 

The eight former police officials were members of an organised crime group, according to the text of pressed charges Sme has at its disposal. They allegedly had meetings on the sixth floor of the Transpetrol building in Bratislava.

The document suggests that the group was led by oligarch Norbert Bödör, who is charged with corruption and was detained earlier this year. His right-hand man was said to be Gašpar.

They are suspected of using their influence within the police to blackmail entrepreneurs, obtain information about the investigation of various cases, and interfere in the work of investigators, Sme wrote.

The information was given to Bödör, who passed it along to other, unauthorised people who then used it in favour of members of the Smer party, according to Sme reports.

Another member of the group was Ľudovít Makó, who has already confessed that when serving at the Financial Administration, he supervised the investigation of tax affairs concerning people close to Smer.

Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik also faces charges for allegedly supporting the group. He is known for halting the investigation of several scandals related to Smer, Sme wrote.

The existence of the group is also implied by the communication between Bödör and mobster Marian Kočner via the Threema app.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Corruption & scandals

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

News digest: Minister adjusts vaccine expectations, mass testing decision still in the balance

Police investigate reported surveillance of journalist. Wolf will be protected all year long.

Mass testing for the coronavirus in the Nitra Synagogue.

Roundup: Fairytale app that makes children read

An award-winning design by a Slovak architect and a trip to Zádielska dolina valley. Here’s your latest roundup.

A man wearing a face covering sits in an armchair on the snow-covered Main Street in Košice on January 13, 2021.

More tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown

Walks along the Danube bank offer a feeling of being far from the city rush.

This place, part of Ovsištské Lúky (Ovsište Meadows) in Petržalka, is still Bratislava.