Fico’s name emerges in Czech bribery case

THE NAME of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has appeared in connection with a corruption case that a Prague court is currently dealing with, the Sme daily reported in its July 2 issue.

THE NAME of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has appeared in connection with a corruption case that a Prague court is currently dealing with, the Sme daily reported in its July 2 issue.

The case involves the purchase of Pandur armoured vehicles by the second government of former Czech PM Mirek Topolánek. Lobbyist Marek Dalík, whom the Czech media labelled Topolánek’s cashier, is charged with allegedly asking for an €18-million bribe from representatives of Austrian company Steyer, which was contracted to provide the armoured vehicles. This dates back to 2007.

In his testimony before the court, Dalík stated that Miroslav Výboh, whom the Slovak media called Fico’s right-hand man, brought up the issue of the Pandurs at a secret meeting of the four men.

Dalík admitted that such meetings took place repeatedly, always confidentially and always attended by Topolánek with Dalík and Fico with Výboh, Sme reported. He however did not specify what the men discussed during those meetings.

When the judge demanded that Dalík explain why each prime minister had a businessman with him at these meetings, Dalík said it was common practice, Sme wrote.

In his response, Fico called Výboh his personal friend: “Mr Výboh is my friend and I will not pretend that he isn’t”, according to Sme. Fico does not see a problem with the fact that he took the businessman along to an unofficial meeting with former Czech PM Topolánek.

Fico, however, denied discussing Pandurs, arguing that the meeting was of a personal nature: “If you are interested, we went with Mr Topolánek to the AC/DC concert in Prague,” Fico said, as quoted by Sme.

Výboh’s name has appeared in Slovak media in connection with Fico in the past. He has been involved in arms trading through the Willing company, which he once headed. He was a member of Fico’s delegation to Libya, where they also met with Muammar Gaddafi. Currently, he is acting as the general consul to Monaco.

The case

The Czech police arrested Výboh in connection with the corruption case, which became known as the Pandur case, in October 2012. The court, however, released him from custody.

The court proceeding in the Pandur case started only on July 1, 2014, with the hearing of Dalík.

The Czech daily MF Dnes wrote that both Dalík and Výboh are subject to investigation in Austria, where the case has not yet been closed.

The Austrian connection is the Steyer company, whom Dalík allegedly asked for the €18-million bribe.

“Mr Dalík identified himself as someone from the office of the prime minister,” the company’s manager, Viktor Jackovich, said in his statement. “He said: If you want the programme to continue, you must do six-times-three, €18 million.”

This was after the Czech government considered cancelling the deal with Steyer in 2007.


Smer trusts its leader

The Sme addressed a number of Smer MPs to comment on the appearance of Fico’s name together with that of Výboh in this major corruption case.

Former defence minister and current MP Jaroslav Baška said that he never met Výboh while serving at the ministry. He refused to comment on Fico’s contacts with the businessman.

Another Smer MP, Anton Martvoň, said he did not believe Dalík’s allegations to be trustworthy.

“Given the fact that a man who has been charged with something said that, I rather consider it a purpose-driven defence,” Martvoň told Sme.

MP Mojmír Mamojka too said he only heard about Výboh in the media and added there is no need to explain whom the prime minister meets with.

“It is his intimate, personal matter,” Mamojka told Sme.

Top stories

Thousands join Plea for Humanity

Do not let people die on our doorstep, Slovaks call on their government. 

Illustrative stock photo

Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe

THE NUMBER of millionaires in Slovakia has increased year-on-year by more than 9 percent to 4,200 – which is twice as fast as growth among the rest of Europe.  

Štefan Harabin

Harabin sits on a new panel

FORMER Supreme Court president Štefan Harabin has ultimately lose his panel and become a member of a new one which will be led by one of his biggest critics.

Slovak Matej Tóth celebrates victory at the World Championships in Beijing

Slovak Matej Tóth won first gold in athletic discipline at World Championships

SLOVAK race walker Matej Tóth (of VŠC Dukla Banská Bystrica sports club) won a gold medal in the 50 kilometre walk at the World Championships in Beijing, while also winning the overall title in the prestigious IAAF…

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  2. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  3. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  4. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  5. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  6. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  7. Harabin sits on a new panel
  8. SNP anniversary in Banská Bystrica featured black flags
  9. Grape crop appears to be good, but quality of wine remains questionable
  10. Compassion is no complicated concept
  1. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  2. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  3. Spiš Castle among top 500 ultimate bucket list destinations
  4. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  5. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  6. Korean companies are still coming
  7. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  8. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  9. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  10. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  1. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  2. Crooks may land €2 million in land deals for Jaguar Land Rover
  3. Interior Minister surprised by news of refugee camp close to Austrian border
  4. Refugees die in a truck near Slovak border in Austria
  5. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  6. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  7. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  8. Bratislava Flagship Restaurant
  9. A Slovak placed online ad offers money for shooting migrants
  10. Spiš Castle among top 500 ultimate bucket list destinations