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Gašparovič sues blogger

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič has submitted a criminal complaint against an unknown person for slander. The initiative came after publication of an article entitled Murders Among Us on the Blogovisko.sk website, in which the author alleges that the president may have played a part in the death of a forestry worker, the SITA newswire reported on January 8.

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič has submitted a criminal complaint against an unknown person for slander. The initiative came after publication of an article entitled Murders Among Us on the Blogovisko.sk website, in which the author alleges that the president may have played a part in the death of a forestry worker, the SITA newswire reported on January 8.

The author of the article, Juraj Poláček, recalls an accident that occurred in August 2009, shortly after Gašparovič visited the Lesť military training area. At around the same time Michal Bobák, a woodsman in the area described as the president’s “usual guide at hunting”, was shot dead. Bobák’s best friend, Štefan Drozd, later confessed to accidentally shooting him. In September 2011 Drozd was sentenced to 18 months conditional imprisonment and given a lifetime ban on handling firearms.

Poláček also writes about what he identifies as a later development in the president’s policy after the tragedy, stating that “as of 2009, Ivan Gašparovič started to behave not only as a grateful sympathiser of Smer party and Robert Fico, but after 2010 and [Fico’s] loss of government office, he became the hidden centre of power, in opposition to the anti-Fico coalition government”, SITA wrote.

The president’s spokesperson, Marek Trubač, said that attacks on president were coming from every side. The latest one, which indicates that Gašparovič is a murderer, is monstrous since we “cannot confuse freedom of speech with [the right to] irresponsible and inconsequent slander of anyone,” he said. The Hospodárske Noviny daily quoted Trubač as saying that Gašparovič was not in Slovakia at the time the death occurred.

Sources: SITA, Hospodárske Noviny

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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