Police chief resigns and leaves the force

Peter Kovařík does not want to continue in the post while being prosecuted.

Departing police chief Peter KovaříkDeparting police chief Peter Kovařík (Source: SITA)

Peter Kovařík has resigned from the post of Police Corps president and plans to leave the service altogether.

“I can’t imagine my future as a police chief who is being prosecuted,” he told the press on August 31, stressing that the rules must apply to all equally. The Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office pressed charges him last week, accusing him abusing his powers as a public official and marring justice.

Kovařík took the top police post late January, after passing through the selection procedure. Even before, he had acted as the temporary police chief, after Milan Lučanský decided to leave.

In his decision to leave the force submitted to the Interior Ministry, Kovařík proposed leaving after September 15, explaining that they first needed to complete tasks related to the papal visit.

War among the police? Big corruption cases complicate relations between institutions Read more 

He could not say who would act as his temporary replacement. The law stipulates that it should be the first Police Corps vice-president, i.e. Jana Maškarová, but the interior minister will have final say.

What are the charges about?

The prosecutor believes that Kovařík disrupted the attempt to detain Matej Zeman and Peter Petrov. Both are cooperating witnesses accused of perjury.

The Interior Ministry’s inspection service wanted to detain the two men, but Kovařík decided to halt the operation. Some say that this decision was deliberate and helped them flee.

Secret meeting of top state officials hints at a problem in the police Read more 

Kovařík said that he did not want to help anybody as he did not even know who was to be detained. He explained that he stopped the operation due to some ambiguities. In the meantime, he submitted a complaint against the charges.

Speaking on August 31, Kovařík said that he is ready to explain his steps if the case is sent to court. He also expressed his trust towards the members of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA), which has detained several people now facing corruption-related charges since the 2020 general election. Some investigators are facing suspicions that they manipulated the testimonies of cooperating defendants.

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