I had noted the reported initial “profound regret” of Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Interior, Robert Kallinak in regard to the 90g of research development explosive [RDX] which Slovakian security agencies had put in the luggage of a unsuspecting 49-year-old Slovakian electrician who lives and works in Dublin. Via a comment on WorldbyStorm’s noting of a Workers’ Party press release on the subject, I see that those “diplomatic channels” appear to have broken down…
The Slovakian government has insisted the authorities in Ireland were aware a passenger was carrying plastic explosives in his bag on a flight to Dublin last Saturday morning before the plane even took off for Ireland. A strongly worded statement has been issued by the Slovakian Ministry of the Interior defending its handling of the debacle and criticising the actions of the Garda. The statement also criticised what it claimed was the inaccurate reporting of the case by the media in Ireland.
According to the Irish Times report, here’s the Slovakian explanation of what happened
[The statement] pointed out that contrary to media reports in Ireland, plastic explosives had been planted in the luggage of just one passenger, and not eight as has widely been reported.
It said the explosives were planted in the luggage of a passenger, without his consent, at Poprad-Tatry airport in eastern Slovakia on Saturday morning as part of an airport security exercise.
Two portions of the explosives were planted in the bag of a 49-year-old Slovak returning home to Dublin after a Christmas holiday, in a bid to test the effectiveness of new sniffer dogs at the airport.
The dog identified the bag and its handler took one of the parcels from the luggage. As the handler was removing the second parcel of explosives he was called to another job and then forgot to return to the passenger to retrieve the other batch.
The passenger an electrician who has lived and worked in Dublin for three years then boarded the 11am Danube Wings flight to Dublin.
When the airport police at Poprad-Tatry realised their mistake the pilot of the flight was contacted by radio while still on the tarmac and informed plastic explosives were in a bag on the plane.
The pilot decided the explosives which the Slovakians say were not dangerous unless attached to other bomb components did not pose a safety risk and he took off for Dublin as planned.
The statement from the Slovakian Ministry of the Interior continued that the pilot sent a telex to the authorities in Dublin informing them of the situation.
The Slovak authorities identified the passenger in whose bag the explosives had been placed and contacted him by phone in Dublin on Monday evening. They told him about the explosives and instructed him to wait until he was contacted by the Irish authorities about the matter.
However, the Dublin Airport Authority, which runs Dublin Airport, has issued a statement saying it was not contacted by the Slovaks until Tuesday morning.
The Irish Times understands that a private firm operating at the airport, and not DAA, received the telex that was sent by the pilot before the plane left Slovakia.
It was yesterday morning that the Slovaks rang the DAA and the Dublin airport police to inform then what had happened.
Update There’s a further post here.