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Fico sues 7 Plus publishing house

Prime Minister Robert Fico plans to sue the 7 Plus publishing house after the Plus Jeden Deň daily published a series of articles about an alleged extramarital relationship of the premier. The daily reported on his vacation last month in Croatia with Government Office clerk Jana Halaszová, the TASR newswire reported on September 6.

Prime Minister Robert Fico plans to sue the 7 Plus publishing house after the Plus Jeden Deň daily published a series of articles about an alleged extramarital relationship of the premier. The daily reported on his vacation last month in Croatia with Government Office clerk Jana Halaszová, the TASR newswire reported on September 6.

According to Plus Jeden Deň, Fico spent an evening with Halaszová at a luxury bar in the Croatian town of Opatija on August 9. The article cites an unknown reader, who visited the bar when Fico was present and published a blurry photograph accompanied by text saying: “Robert Fico and Janka Halaszová together in Croatia: Fico sitting next to Janka.”

The press department of the Government Office stated that the fact that the daily quoted an unnamed person who allegedly took the photo in its article proves that the daily does not have a photo of Fico and Halaszová in Croatia, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The press department added that the daily uses the statements of a fictitious person who is not even named in the article.

“It is a standard non-transparent practice of the tabloid when the editorial room either makes up the statements of a fictive person or pays a person for his statements, which it needs to hear,” the press department said.

After the publishing house failed to comply with Fico’s request for an apology, legal action is the only legitimate recourse, TASR quoted the official statement.

The defamation suit is expected to show that the story published in the tabloid was purely fictional, according to the statement.

The Plus 7 Dní weekly, which also belongs to the 7 Plus publishing house, recently published a photo featuring Fico saying goodbye to Halaszová in a way that appeared to be inappropriate for a professional relationship. The weekly reported that on August 21 the couple spent several hours at a chateau in Čereňany, 160 kilometres from Bratislava, after picking her up in front of her Bratislava apartment.

Fico’s spokesperson Beatrice Szabóová called it “a ridiculous story” not worthy of comment. The event in Čereňany was attended by another four people who came and left at the same time as Fico, SITA wrote.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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