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Slovak police scandal: real explosives planted on a flight to Dublin

In Law, Travel on January 6, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

(c) Petr Bokuvka

CONTINUOUS UPDATE BELOW…

Some people working for the Slovak police are out of their fucking minds.

Last Saturday real explosives were hidden in some passengers’ luggage without their knowledge at Poprad Airport. The purpose of this test was to check the preparedness of airport security check staff. But the test was botched, as one of the suitcases went unnoticed, was loaded onto the plane and flown to Dublin, Ireland. The name of the airline was not revealed, but the Poprad-Dublin route is served by DanubeWings.

The story was picked by CNN, MSNBC and Wikipedia only hours after the incident.

According to Slovak SME daily the suitcase belonged to a Slovak electrician named Stefan Gonda, 49, who lives in Dublin. (UPDATE Jan 7: according to some sources, the package WAS detected by a sniff dog but the policeman in charge forgot to remove it).

Slovak authorities argue they informed their Irish counterparts on Saturday, while the Irish maintain it was much later.

I would belive the Irish. Once Slovaks started to panic, it definitely took them much longer. Saturday is way too early for some green brains working for the Slovak police. They are not that bright when it comes to international diplomacy and they must have had hard time to resolve all the chain-of-command issues…

Moreover, Slovaks claim only two suitcases were “tested”, the Irish say eight.

According to the SME daily the victim of the test disembarked and picked his luggage on the belt as usual and was detained later and released with no charges, but only after two streets had been closed and several houses evacuated due to the 90 grams of RDX.

RTÉ story here.

The police commissioner who is in charge of police security will not be held responsible. Only one particular police officer is responsible. He will of course face disciplinary action. It should be noted that it started with good intentions, to improve security of citizens.
(statement of the Interior Ministry)

UPDATE JANUARY 7: According to several lawyers quoted by the SME daily the operation was illegal. Any participation of a civilian in a police operation requires their prior written consent and the Slovak man who travelled all the way to his Dublin apartment may sue his government…

UPDATE JANUARY 7: The Slovak government criticizes the Irish police forces for the arrest of the Slovak traveller and Irish media for the unnecessarily harsh coverage of the “silly mistake”!!!!!

How typical of Slovak (and Czech, too) politicians: they are masters at “shifting the blame”…

According to the SME daily, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak cancelled two regular press conferences (the original topic was road safety, but obviously he would have to face a totally different topic) and he hasn’t answered his cell phone since the incident surfaced…

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