NEWS IN SHORT

Parliament to be briefed on Gorilla

JAROSLAV Haščák, one of the co-owners of the Penta financial group, has sent a letter to parliament’s constitutional committee asking that Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák refrain from briefing parliament on the current status of the investigation into the so-called Gorilla file, the TASR newswire reported.

JAROSLAV Haščák, one of the co-owners of the Penta financial group, has sent a letter to parliament’s constitutional committee asking that Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák refrain from briefing parliament on the current status of the investigation into the so-called Gorilla file, the TASR newswire reported.

Haščák’s lawyers reportedly stated in the letter that it is unacceptable for an interior minister to interfere in a prosecution and provide information on the status of an ongoing investigation. Haščák’s name is prominently featured in the Gorilla file, an unverified document published on the internet based on recordings made by Slovakia’s intelligence service, the SIS, allegedly describing high-level political corruption in 2005-6.

The committee chairman, MP Róbert Madej, said he has taken the letter into consideration but expects that Kaliňák will report on what the police have done so far in investigating the document and its allegations, TASR reported.

TASR wrote that police investigators have examined several aspects of the document.

“They are creating a ‘map’, which is not 2D any more but is becoming 3D,” stated Kaliňák, as quoted by TASR. “But the mosaic still has a lot of missing tiles.”

The interior minister said he is acquainted with the details of the Gorilla investigation but refused to say anything further, stating that he does not want to pose a threat to the investigation, However, he did add that the investigators “are facing a strong enemy”, TASR wrote.
The investigators have questioned about 50 people, according to a report prepared by Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik. No charges have been brought against anyone to date.

Bookstores also began selling a book on July 23 about political and business corruption, based in part on the Gorilla file, written by investigative journalist Tom Nicholson, a former editor-in-chief of The Slovak Spectator. Haščák sought to prevent publication of the book but a regional court recently overruled the decision by a district court to block the release of the book.

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