Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) leader Pavol Frešo said on Thursday, June 7, that he would not comment on the role of former SDKÚ treasurer Igor Kucej in a controversy surrounding the construction of a secret state factory for producing vaccines. The Hospodárske Noviny daily on Thursday wrote that the commission for constructing a research pavilion for the factory was assigned to a firm owned by one of Kucej's business associates.
Frešo ran for the post of SDKÚ chairman in May with the declared intention of dismissing Kucej if elected. Kucej was linked to a number of previous controversies, the most prominent of which involved questions over party funding practices that forced then SDKÚ chairman Mikuláš Dzurinda to withdraw from the party slate ahead of the 2010 general election. In addition, Kucej was mentioned eight times in the notorious Gorilla file. Kucej left the treasurer post earlier this month.
"For me, what happens during our era is important ... I'm applying pressure so that the issue is clarified," Frešo said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that he had never heard about any kickbacks linked to construction of the factory. Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Wednesday that construction work at the site may be halted until its funding is clarified and the future provider of vaccines against flu for Slovakia's entire population is known. "There's also the alternative of scrapping the project ... but this would mean the loss of €10.7 million, which would have to be born by somebody," said Fico.
Sources: Hospodárske Noviny, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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