Haščák withdraws his appeal against Gorilla file book

Jaroslav Haščák, a director of the Penta financial group, has withdrawn his appeal against a court verdict permitting publication of a book about the Gorilla file, a purported transcript of conversations allegedly bugged by the SIS intelligence service that suggested there was high-level corruption involving politicians and businessmen, including Haščák, in 2005-06. Last year, a court overturned an injunction blocking publication of the book, the TASR newswire wrote.

Jaroslav Haščák, a director of the Penta financial group, has withdrawn his appeal against a court verdict permitting publication of a book about the Gorilla file, a purported transcript of conversations allegedly bugged by the SIS intelligence service that suggested there was high-level corruption involving politicians and businessmen, including Haščák, in 2005-06. Last year, a court overturned an injunction blocking publication of the book, the TASR newswire wrote.

The author of the book, investigative journalist Tom Nicholson, who is a former editor-in-chief of The Slovak Spectator, told TASR that Haščák probably saw no further sense in fighting against publication of the book, and hence dropped his appeal. The Gorilla file was leaked on the internet in December 2011, leading to protests and political upheaval; Nicholson subsequently published his book on the subject, one which he had been preparing for several years previously.

At the beginning 2012, Judge Branislav Král of the Bratislava I District Court issued a preliminary injunction banning publication of the book, and also severely criticised several news organisations. Paradoxically, a similar case to that of Haščák, filed by another person involved in the case, Zoltán Varga, was simultaneously rejected by another Bratislava I District Court judge, Daša Kontríková. In June 2012, the Bratislava Regional Court overturned Král's injunction, with Haščák appealing later to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, Nicholson's book was printed and distributed.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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