A former senior police officer has confirmed that some information contained in the leaked document codenamed Gorilla, which was allegedly prepared by the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency, is correct. The document concerns an investigation into the alleged influence of the Penta financial group on Slovak politicians in 2005 and 2006. Its contents have emerged in the Slovak media three months before parliamentary elections due to take place in Slovakia on March 10.
Ján Rejda, a former head of the special department at the Office for the Fight against Corruption, said he visited a wiretapped flat on Vazovova Street in Bratislava where he met Zoltán Varga, a man connected with Penta, the Sme daily reported.
“Of course I was going there,” said Rejda, as quoted by Sme, adding that he and Varga were former colleagues.
Though he did not directly deny that he had given Varga certain information, he denied receiving money for it. He said he assumed the recent reports had been published to harm his reputation, Sme wrote.
Meanwhile, the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party presented their first request to penalise people featured in the Gorilla document. Economy Minister Juraj Miškov said that the party had already sent a letter to Prime Minister Iveta Radičová in which it asked her to dismiss Anna Bubeníková, a nominee of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), from her post as a chair of the National Property Fund (FNM). Bubeníková allegedly acted as a go-between on behalf of Penta in 2005-6. The government office says that it has not received any such request, Sme wrote.
The leader of the opposition Smer party, Robert Fico, said at a press conference held on January 3, 2012, that he would not comment on the Gorilla case since he did not want to be involved in what he called pre-election intelligence games, the TASR newswire reported.
However, he went on to deny one part of the Gorilla document, which relates to alleged discussions between one of Penta’s main figures, Jaroslav Haščák, and Fico himself over so-called “cleaning processes” within the party and over the possible post-election governing arrangements following the 2006 parliamentary elections, TASR wrote.
Fico cited two examples of his post-2006 government's policy which had not benefited Penta: its halting of the privatisation of Bratislava Airport, which would otherwise have likely ended up in Penta’s hands; and its moves to bar public health insurers – in which Penta had an interest – from making a profit.
Source: Sme, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Jan 2012 at 10:00