Fico’s arrest is also hanging in the air

The former prime minister, Interior Minister Robert Kalina, has been indicted for founding a criminal organization.

The fight against corruption has reached the peak of Slovak political life. The Slovak National Law Enforcement Agency (NAKA) arrested former Interior Minister Robert Kalinák on Wednesday on charges of setting up and supporting an organized criminal group and suspected of threatening tax secrets, and accused former Prime Minister Robert Fico of the same. The arrest of Fico, currently a Member of Parliament, also requires the consent of Parliament. Together with Kalina, lawyer Marek Para, a defender of the billionaire entrepreneur Marian Kocner, who ordered the investigation into the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his bride Martina Kusnírová, was arrested.

Fico’s arrest is also hanging in the air, in response to the official indictment, the leaders of the four-party governing coalition, which has a parliamentary majority, have stated in turn that they do not intend to stand in the way of justice, voting to waive his immunity. Former party fellow and later rival Peter Pellegrini, leader of the Hlas opposition party, has defended his former “boss” citing the presumption of innocence. According to him, the governing coalition is using the National Law Enforcement Agency for political battles, the power is playing a “disgusting game” so it is trying to hide its inability to lead the country.

Fico described the proceedings against him as political revenge, which he said was just an attempt to “liquidate the leader of the strongest opposition party” for consistently pointing out the inertia of the government and the head of state on “how Slovakia was sold to the US”. (Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Fico and his party, Smer, have been increasingly pro-Russian and anti-American.) “Whether the ruling coalition arrests or defends at large, the political theaters of Matovic, Heger and Caputová are not prevented. neither me nor Smert in doing our opposition work, ”Fico told the Slovak press in response to the allegations against him.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger reacted succinctly. He noted the law enforcement authorities ’independent decision to suspect Kalina and Fico, he believes the allegations are supported by relevant evidence.

In fact, it was only a matter of time before Fico and Kalina were indicted. The February 22, 2018 assassination of the journalist first caused only a political earthquake, and then when the investigation clearly uncovered political corruption and the fact that the mafia had entangled even the highest levels of government, law enforcement began to take action. Fico said many had fallen for the fact that although crowds in the streets demanded the dismissal of Robert Kalina, then interior minister, he persevered with his nearest confidant until March 12, and then on 15 himself was forced to resign himself. The governing coalition remained, then Smer politician Peter Pellegrini became head of government. In the parliamentary elections held two years after the murder of journalists, the populist party of anti-corruption rhetoric Igor Matovic, OLANO, won and took over the leadership of a four-party coalition.

The NAKA campaign called Cleansing Fire was launched in the autumn of the year, toppling the ranks of senior officials, first Tibor Gaspar, then national police chief. A total of 21 people were prosecuted and 92 witnesses were heard. The Cleansing Fire investigation ended last December: 11 people were charged with 20 crimes for founding, maintaining, supporting a criminal organization, corruption, abuse of office and other crimes. The indictment is 181 pages long and the investigation file consists of 46 volumes, for a total of 18,500 pages. The cases of several suspects are being investigated in separate criminal proceedings.

Fico and Kalina have been preparing for the inevitable since October last year. It was then that footage of a hidden camera in a hunting lodge was released, in which Fico, Kalinák, son of ex-national police chief Tibor Gaspar, entrepreneur Miroslav Bödör, and Marek Para, a lawyer, were talking about tax fraud and what the Kalina were waiting to be questioned. common position on the case of the accused Gaspar and the contractor.

Source: Népszava by

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