Richard Sulík, the chair of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), should not step down from the party’s slate because of his meetings with businessman Marián Kočner according to some of his party colleagues, the Sme daily wrote, adding that Sulík was thinking about resigning after a series of seven videos allegedly showing private conversations with the businessman were published on the internet on February 23.
Several representatives of the party said that it is enough that Sulík apologised for his actions and promised that it will not occur in the future.
“Mr Kočner is a creature who has wandered through Slovakia for such a long time and looks for the company of politicians,” said State Secretary, i.e. deputy minister, of the Labour Ministry, Lucia Nicholsonová, as quoted by Sme. “It is the mistake of politicians if they meet him. Mr Sulík repented enough.”
Economy Minister Juraj Miškov from SaS considers the publication of SMS text messages exchanged between Sulík and Kočner and the more recent videos as revenge for the attitude of the party towards the Gorilla file, which involves transcripts allegedly made by the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency regarding high-level political corruption in 2005-6.
In the recordings Sulík allegedly tells Kočner that a coalition MP was offered €300,000 for voting for the opposition’s candidate for general prosecutor, Dobroslav Trnka. Sulík also reportedly said on the videotapes that he would support a government led by Ivan Mikloš, the current finance minister from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party, Sme wrote on February 24.
“I realise that the meetings with Kočner were a big mistake,” Sulík wrote in a statement published on his website. “The only thing that I was concerned about was to find out who the traitors in the coalition were [those voting for Trnka]. I attempted to gather information, but it appears that I would not make a good spy. I have become part of a fabricated story instead.”
The TASR newswire reported that the Office for the Fight against Corruption has launched an investigation of the allegations that the election of the general prosecutor that took place in December 2010 involved bribery.
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.
27. Feb 2012 at 14:00