Tom Nicholson, a Canadian journalist living in Slovakia, was wiretapped by police, during the tenure of Iveta Radičová government (2010-2012) and while Daniel Lipšic was Interior Minister and Jaroslav Spišiak as Police President, the Sme daily wrote October 31.
A 45-second recording of a phone conversation from November 2010 of Nicholson, was obtained by Sme in mid October and included a conversation with Martin Čorej, the current head of the Sme.sk website. At that time Nicholson was working on a web programme called This Week in Slovakia. Čorej said he and Nicholson may have been discussing the script for the programme. Based on the transcript of the conversation, the recording was probably made at the same time they were on the phone.
Nicholson was wiretapped legally in the case of murder of lawyer and former chair of the Constitutional Court, Ernest Valko, who was shot and killed November 9, 2010. The prosecutor of the special department at the General Prosecutor’s Office and the judge of the Bratislava I District Court Roland Kemény signed off on the tap, according to documents obtained by Sme. The pretence for wiretapping Nicholson is that he taught Valko English. The journalist called Valko shortly before his death to arrange the next lesson after a several week break. Valko’s daughter Jana told police Nicholson might have known serious facts that he might have given to her father.
Nicholson says he had told police everything he knew about Valko and potential motives. He believes that Valko’s murder might have been a false pretence for wiretapping, as he was then working also on the infamous case of Gorilla file, an alleged transcript of conversations between top politicians and businesspeople. He admits the police leadership might not have known about him being followed. The wiretapping took place between November 2010 and January 2011 when it was ended prematurely by police – as they had the approval to wiretap him until May. It is not clear whether police used the information gained in this way for the investigation.
Both Lipšic and Spišiak claim not to have known about the wiretapping. The Prosecutor’s Office and current Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák claim that until the facts from the still unsolved murder are de-classified they cannot speak on the case.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
31. Oct 2013 at 14:00