Court complies with Penta and blocks Nicholson's book on 'Gorilla'

A book about the 'Gorilla' files that Canadian-Slovak investigative journalist Tom Nicholson has been preparing for a long time cannot be published and distributed for the time being, Bratislava I District Court ruled on Thursday, TASR newswire reported on February 4.

A book about the 'Gorilla' files that Canadian-Slovak investigative journalist Tom Nicholson has been preparing for a long time cannot be published and distributed for the time being, Bratislava I District Court ruled on Thursday, TASR newswire reported on February 4.

The book deals with files leaked from the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) that indicate corrupt behaviour involving Slovak politicians and powerful business groups in the country.

The Gorilla file is document circulating on the internet, reportedly containing transcripts of bugged conversations made by Slovakia's intelligence service, the SIS. The transcripts imply that there was high-level political corruption during the second government of Dzurinda in 2005-2006.

According to a preliminary court order, Nicholson must abstain from publishing or disseminating the book in any form. The information has not been by late February 3 confirmed officially by the court, and neither has the reason behind the court order been provided.

"I think that they are more likely to cause harm to themselves than to me by such a ruling,” Nicholson told TASR. “I haven't seen the court ruling and I don't even know about it. I'll consult it with my lawyers and we'll fight for the truth."

The judge complied with a complaint submitted by co-owner of Penta Jaroslav Haščák, who is described by the 'Gorilla' files as a mediator between corrupt Slovak politicians and the Penta financial group.

"As long as we're in a law-based state, every individual or organisation has a right to claim its rights in a legal way," TASR was told by Penta spokesman Martin Danko, who refused to comment on the group's legal steps.

Nicholson originally wanted to have the book published before the early elections set for March 10. According to information already presented in the media, he's experienced problems with publishing since the beginning, "as the original publisher got cold feet".

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