On Thursday, Slovakia’s National Crime Agency (NAKA) raided the homes of several of the country’s top former police officials and brought them in for questioning on suspicion of working with organized crime groups, Novinky.cz reports.
According to Slovakia’s Markíza TV, among those detained were Tibor Gašpar, former police chief, Peter Hraško, former director of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA), Róbert Krajmer, former head of the anti-corruption unit, and Bernard Slobodník, former head of police finance.
The arrests make things worse for Jan Hamáček, minister of the interior for the Czech Republic, who has been heavily criticised for having a relationship with Gašpar despite widespread speculation on Gašpar’s integrity.
The investigation, codenamed “Operation Purgatory” and rolled out by NAKA on Thursday morning, charges the former officials with several different crimes.
“The charges pressed by a NAKA 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,” NAKA’s Special Prosecutor Office spokeswoman Jana Tökölyová said.
According to topky.sk, NAKA has also arrested their own former head of financial intelligence, Marian Zetocha.
Tibor Gašpar stepped down as President of Police in May of 2018 following the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. Since Gašpar had connections to a security firm that Kuciak was critically covering, there was speculation of a conflict of interest in the investigation. Thousands of Slovaks protested in response to this last year.