Police detain entrepreneur Ladislav Rehák and his son

ON November 7, Slovak police detained entrepreneur and chairman of the board of directors for mobile operator Orange Ladislav Rehák and his son Martin Rehák on charges that have yet to be made public, the news agency TASR reported.

Police President Ján Packa told journalists on November 8 that within the framework of the "Svätuškár" (Holy Roller) operation it had detained five persons suspected of being accomplices to exceptionally serious crimes.

Officers from the Office for the Fight against Organised Crime carried out two searches - one in a trade company and another at a notary office in Bratislava - where they found relevant documents along with material evidence. Packa said that there is now a "sufficient number" of detained persons in custody.

The operation's name Svätuškár comes from All Saints' Day (November 1), the day the operation began, Packa said. He denied any possible connection of the operation name with published information indicating that Ladislav Rehák is an important sponsor of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH). "It's total nonsense," declared Packa.

Police want to maintain the presumption of innocence and will not provide any further information until the information embargo has been lifted.

"The case is in the initial phase of investigation and that's why it's the police who will provide information," said Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák. He emphasised that the police and the courts act independently with respect to the social, political or any other status of the persons concerned. In connection with the link between the alleged sponsorship of the KDH by the detained entrepreneur, Kaliňák stressed that "police are independent in this procedure. We guarantee it."

Prime Minister Robert Fico was also informed today about the case but deferred comment, saying "it's up to the police and the courts." and that "several interesting days may be ahead of us."

Ladislav Rehák began doing business in the 1990s and is currently chairman of the board of directors at Orange Slovensko. In 2004, Rehák entered the media market. His media group owns the Týždeň and Slovenka weeklies, Radio Jemné melódie (Soft Melodies) as well as Star magazine.

Martin Rehák's name appeared on the so-called Mafia lists that were surreptitiously published on the internet in 2005. However, police have never confirmed the authenticity of the lists of purported Mafia collaborators.

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