Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Fico concedes that Gorilla file could be true, Penta denies it

Robert Fico, leader of the opposition Smer party, said that the facts described in the Gorilla file, a leaked document allegedly prepared by the SIS intelligence agency, could be true, the TASR newswire reported.

Robert Fico, leader of the opposition Smer party, said that the facts described in the Gorilla file, a leaked document allegedly prepared by the SIS intelligence agency, could be true, the TASR newswire reported.

According to the file, featuring alleged transcripts of bugged conversations between representatives of the Penta financial group and senior politicians and officials during the second government of Mikuláš Dzurinda in 2005-6, Fico visited a flat on Vazovova Street in Bratislava to meet the co-owner of the Penta financial group Jaroslav Haščák. At the beginning of the discussion he allegedly asked for a cola drink.

Fico told a press conference held on January 24 that even if the Gorilla transcript is authentic, drinking cola cannot be viewed as a crime. However, he did not confirm whether he had actually visited the flat or not.

He added that the Gorilla file deals with the second government of Mikuláš Dzurinda, in office between 2002 and 2006, and noted that his party took power only in 2006.

“What does the [document] have to do with Smer?” Fico said, as quoted by TASR, and asked the media not to embroil the party in the case.

Meanwhile, representatives of Penta presented their own view on the allegedly non-transparent business practices described in Gorilla. They commented on twelve transactions, saying that six of them had not even involved Penta. Moreover, they denied paying any bribes to politicians and said that Penta won all the public tenders transparently by offering the lowest price, the Sme daily reported.

The financial group refused to comment on speculation that its representatives had met officials and politicians during the second Dzurinda government in the flat on Vazovova Street, saying only that meeting in a flat is not a crime. Penta spokesperson Martin Danko said that it had made the statement to prove that it did not bribe politicians.

Penta also called on Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic, who has confirmed the existence of an SIS intelligence operation codenamed Gorilla, to specify the transactions in which the behaviour of the financial group was alleged not to have been transparent.

“The Interior Ministry will not reveal the tactics of the investigation just because dubious people require it to,” responded ministerial spokesperson, Gábor Grendel, as quoted by Sme, adding that Lipšic stands by all his previous statements on the Gorilla case.

Sources: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

Top stories

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

Cemetery with a remarkable creative concept Photo

The shapes of tombstones were prescribed until 1997

Vrakuňa Cemetery in Bratislava

Being young is harder than it used to be

The failure of older generations to sympathise with youth means politics are primarily a contest of who can hand out more gifts to old people.

Young Slovaks have problems finding proper jobs.

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.