Senior police officers in Slovakia arrested on corruption charges

The Slovak authorities searched the homes of several high-ranking former police officers in the country and brought them in for interrogation on charges of corruption and collaboration with organized criminal groups.

National Agency Crime Agency has detained former police chief Tibor Gaspar, former director of the National Agency Peter Hrashko, former head of the anti-corruption unit Robert Krajmer and former head of the financial police Bernard Slobodnik, according to Slovakia’s Markíza TV.

– The charges pressed by a investigator concerned several crimes, such as the crime of setting up and supporting an organized criminal group, various corruption crimes, and the misuse of powers. We can’t provide any more details given the ongoing investigation, – said press secretary of the National Agency Yana Tyokoleva.

Tibor Gaspar resigned following the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiance. Kuciak was investigating a deal between the Slovak government and the country’s largest private security firm, owned by a relative of Gaspar, according to Deutsche Welle news agency.

This murder of the journalist led to the overthrow of the government of then Prime Minister Robert Fico and led to a widespread investigation of corruption.

Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic called the suspects as friends of Fico and his successor Peter Pellegrini.

– We will do everything we can to ensure that the times when the mafia ruled the state never return, – he said on Facebook.

In March, Slovakia arrested 13 judges, including former secretary of state for justice Monika Jankovska. She is suspected of manipulating lawsuits in favor of millionaire Marian Kocner, who is often accused of bribery and blackmailing judges and prosecutors.

Kocner was also charged with ordering murder of Jan Kuciak. But in September the court found him innocent. The prosecutor’s office promised to appeal this decision.