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Prosecutor's Office denies Gorilla connection with Nicholson wiretap

THE GENERAL Prosecutor’s Office has denied any connection between the alleged wiretapping of journalist Tom Nicholson and the investigation of the Gorilla file, a lengthy document that purports to describe an operation conducted by the Slovak Information Service (SIS), the country’s main intelligence agency, in which it collected information about the influence of the Penta financial group on senior Slovak politicians between 2005 and 2006. The wiretap took place between November 2010 and January 2011.

THE GENERAL Prosecutor’s Office has denied any connection between the alleged wiretapping of journalist Tom Nicholson and the investigation of the Gorilla file, a lengthy document that purports to describe an operation conducted by the Slovak Information Service (SIS), the country’s main intelligence agency, in which it collected information about the influence of the Penta financial group on senior Slovak politicians between 2005 and 2006. The wiretap took place between November 2010 and January 2011.

“The Office of the General Prosecutor considers the published information about the alleged connection artificially contrived and purposeful,” said its spokesperson Jana Tökölyová, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The Sme daily has previously informed that Nicholson appears to have been wiretapped legally as part of an investigation into the murder of lawyer and former chair of the Constitutional Court, Ernest Valko, who was shot and killed on November 9, 2010. The prosecutor of the special department at the General Prosecutor’s Office and Bratislava I District Court Judge Roland Kemény signed off on the wiretap, according to documents obtained by Sme.

The explanation 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 told police that Nicholson might have had knowledge of serious facts that he could have passed on to her father.

Yet, Nicholson believes that the murder might have been only a pretext, since at the time he was dealing with the Gorilla case and was even starting to work on a book about the file.

Nicholson is a Canadian journalist based in Slovakia who formerly worked as publisher and editor-in-chief of The Slovak Spectator. He went on to become an investigative journalist, breaking several notable stories about alleged corruption. He was beginning to work on the book about the Gorilla file around the time his phone was tapped.

Source: SITA, Sme

For more information about this story please see: Nicholson was wiretapped because of contacts with murdered lawyer Valko

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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