Slovak interior minister takes legal action against Smer investigators

Slovak interior minister takes legal action against Smer investigators |

Slovak Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok filed a criminal complaint Monday alleging that police officers who investigated current Smer MP Tibor Gašpar should not have been granted whistleblower status as his decision to suspend them could cost Slovakia up to €700,000.

As one of his first acts in office, Šutaj Eštok suspended a group of six police officers who were investigating former Slovak police chief and current Smer MP Tibor Gašpar, as well as oligarchs with links to Smer Michal Suchoba and Norbert Bodor.

Now, he has filed a criminal complaint, claiming their whistleblower status was granted against the law.

“The conditions under which these investigators became protected by the Slovak Special Prosecutor’s Office should be investigated. I understand the agenda of the Whistleblower Protection Office is new. Still, the law must be strictly followed in this case as well,” said Šutaj Eštok about the body established during a previous Smer government.

According to Slovak law, the status protects them from losing their job without the Whistleblower Protection Office’s consent. Slovak courts started examining the minister’s actions immediately and already decided two investigators were suspended unlawfully and should return to work. The ministry faces a fine of up to €700,000 for its conduct.

Šutaj Eštok claims he suspended the investigators because they face criminal charges. However, a Slovak court pointed out two years ago that the accusations against them are unfounded. Also, according to the latest findings of The Slovak General Prosecutor’s Office, their case was led by an investigator who was not impartial.

However, part of the Slovak public supports the investigators as the fundraiser dedicated to them collected more than €100,000 in just three weeks.

“Let’s help the investigators in dealing with this psychologically demanding time following their unlawful suspension from work, by offering them financial support. The obtained money will cover their living and monthly expenses,” reads the fundraiser’s description.

Meanwhile, because of his actions during his first month in office, the interior minister faces a no-confidence vote initiated by the members of the Slovak opposition. However, the chances that this vote will be successful are very low.

(Natália Silenská, Barbara Zmušková |

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