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Court rules on access to Gorilla file

THE SO-CALLED Gorilla file, which describes alleged corrupt practices in Slovak business and politics, will not be pulled from Slovak-hosted websites, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote on May 23 as the Regional Court in Bratislava has rejected a request for an interim ruling to do so sought by Jaroslav Haščák, a co-owner of the Penta financial group. His lawsuit sought the removal of the Gorilla file from 13 Slovak websites that host it. The file is purportedly based on transcripts from an undercover investigation by the Slovak Information Service (SIS) spy agency in 2005-6 in which Haščák’s name is frequently mentioned.

THE SO-CALLED Gorilla file, which describes alleged corrupt practices in Slovak business and politics, will not be pulled from Slovak-hosted websites, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote on May 23 as the Regional Court in Bratislava has rejected a request for an interim ruling to do so sought by Jaroslav Haščák, a co-owner of the Penta financial group. His lawsuit sought the removal of the Gorilla file from 13 Slovak websites that host it. The file is purportedly based on transcripts from an undercover investigation by the Slovak Information Service (SIS) spy agency in 2005-6 in which Haščák’s name is frequently mentioned.

The court case was primarily directed at Websupport, a Slovak-based web hosting service, Hospodárske Noviny wrote. The newspaper reported that the regional court rejected Haščák’s motion, ruling that even though the truthfulness of statements in the Gorilla file has not been confirmed, the public cannot be prevented from reading them and discussing them. The court decided that in a democratic society a document of this type can be the subject of public discussion, the daily wrote.

The spokesman for the regional court, Pavol Adamčiak, confirmed that the judge handling the lawsuit had issued a ruling, but refused to provide further details.

Penta spokesman Martin Danko told Hospodárske Noviny that Haščák’s motion had been rejected by the court but made no additional comment.

Penta had earlier asked the webhosting company to remove the Gorilla file from its servers but the company refused to do so.

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