Fatal Charleroi arrest: Slovakia demands European Commission investigation
Thursday, 03 September 2020
Slovakia wants the European Commission to investigate the case of a Slovak national who died in a fatal arrest at Charleroi Airport in February 2018.
The man, Jozef Chovanec, had caused trouble when boarding a flight and was subsequently put in a cell. He died a few days later, following a cardiac arrest after officers got heavy-handed when he started behaving strangely.
The Slovak parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution requesting that the European Commission investigate the Chovanec case, as it does not have enough confidence in a Belgian investigation, which has been ongoing for over two years now. The text, tabled by the opposition, was supported by the entire parliament in Bratislava, VRT reported.
Slovakia has addressed a request for an investigation to Didier Reynders, according to the VRT, as Reynders is European Commissioner for Justice. He also happened to be the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time.
According to the Slovak news agency TASR, Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok has already expressed his support for the Parliament’s resolution, adding that his services are “closely monitoring the ongoing investigation.”
Chovanec’s death has come to public attention after images of the arrest surfaced in August. They include a female police officer giving a Hitler salute, and another officer sitting on Chovanec to subdue him.