Journalist Tom Nicholson is free to publish his book about alleged corruption in Slovakia and the Slovak Intelligence Service's (SIS) so-called Gorilla file that was released on the internet, as the Bratislava Regional Court on June 11 overturned a temporary restraining order halting its publication that had been issued by the Bratislava I District Court in February.
"We consider this to be a victory of common sense. We believed that it would go this way," Tomáš Kamenec, the lawyer representing Petit Press publishing house and Nicholson, told the TASR newswire.
"I'm glad that people will be allowed to read the book about this case and that the decision of the judge [Branislav Král] who banned its publication will no longer stand in the way," said Nicholson.
Jaroslav Haščák from the Penta financial group had filed a complaint against Nicholson in February asking the court to stop him from publishing the book and Branislav Král, the district court judge, chose to withhold publication of the book even though it had not yet been finished at that time.
The head of Petit Press publishing house, Alexej Fulmek, told the Sme daily (also published by Petit Press) that the book about the Gorilla file and other high political corruption could be available in four to six weeks if nothing unexpected happens. Petit Press is also majority owner of The Rock, publisher of The Slovak Spectator. Nicholson is also a former editor of The Slovak Spectator.
Nicholson has said that about one-third of the book will be based on the Gorilla file and the rest will contain responses of politicians. He said he describes the circumstances of the Gorilla operation in which an apartment where meetings between Penta representatives and politicians took place was wiretapped.
The Gorilla file’s alleged transcripts of the wiretaps were apparently leaked from the SIS. They reportedly contain alleged corrupt practices among political leaders and representatives of the Penta group in 2005-6.
Source: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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