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I'm so sorry -- envoy

The Slovakian ambassador to Ireland has said the airport police officer responsible for the botched security test that allowed explosives to be flown to Dublin is to be prosecuted.

Roman Buzek, who has been ambassador here for 16 months, has also said he wants to apologise to the people of Ireland, the Government, and to the innocent Slovakian national who was arrested and questioned after the explosives planted in his luggage found their way to his Dublin apartment undetected.

Today, speaking from the Slovakian embassy on Clyde Road in Dublin, ambassador Buzek told the Herald that the blunder had definitely caused harm to the image of Slovakia abroad and that it would take time to repair that damage.

"It should never have happened, and it should never happen again. It was terrible," said Mr Buzek.

Apologies

"I would like to offer my deepest apologies to the people of Ireland, the Government, and the man involved. I am ready to talk with this man (Stefan Gonda) when the time is right for him, and my minister spoke with him to offer help, assistance, and an apology."

The ambassador said the massive security incident was also being widely reported in his home country.

"It was felt that the problem did not lie with Tibor Makov, but with the police in the airport itself, and the chief there is to be prosecuted," he added.

Speaking about the damaged relations between Ireland and Slovakia stemming from the massive security breach, Mr Buzek said: "I am truly sorry, and I understand the anger and the outrage of the people."

The SME.sk website reported the story, quoting a statement from the Ministry of the Interior that blamed "the failure of a single policeman".

cfeehan@herald.ie


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