Kaliňák denies links between Smer and Kočner. Fico talks about a political attack

Politicians react to the published conversation between Kočner and Bödör.

Marian KočnerMarian Kočner(Source: TASR)
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The Denník N daily has published a police report concerning text messages sent by Marian Kočner via the Threema application. Kočner stands accused both in a case involving allegedly forged promissory notes and of ordering the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak.

The report suggests that Kočner and Norbert Bödör, son of the owner of the Bonul security service company, discussed the Slovak Intelligence Service, the prosecutor’s office and assigning specific cases to concrete prosecutors. This is how some politicians have reacted to the information:

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer)

“In Slovakia, there has to be basic justice,” Pellegrini wrote in his statement, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “I perceive the information implying the former excessive and unacceptable influence of some people on the operation of state bodies as very disturbing.”

Since Police Corps President Milan Lučanský was elected, the work of police officers and investigators has brought results and people who used to enjoy fame and media attention are either in jail or in front of a judge, he continued.

“I appeal to police officers, prosecutors and judges to behave honestly, to follow only the law and the rules and their own moral principles and values of justice,” Pellegrini continued, as quoted by TASR. “As for the government, I promise cooperation and support.”

Robert Fico, chairman of Smer and former PM

Fico considers the publishing of the communication to be a weak attempt to cover up information regarding the drug experiences of the chairman of the non-parliamentary Progressive Slovakia party, Michal Truban.

“I have to label this attempt of oligarchs, power-hungry men and the ill-favoured newsroom of the Denník N daily as very weak attempt to cover up what Mr Truban has wrought,” he said in a video published on Facebook. “It seems that this leader is far from being a new politician.”

Robert Kaliňák, vice chairman of Smer and former interior minister

Kaliňák denied the links between Smer and Kočner.

“We don’t even know who he sent the messages to,” he said, as quoted by TASR. “This is not wiretapping, monitored by the state and approved by the law, where you can identify who is who. The fact remains that neither I, nor anyone else from Smer has links here.”

He continued by saying that the charges against Kočner were brought in August 2017 under the former leadership of the police.

“Denník N itself informed the public, in the summer of 2017, two years ago and long before the murder of which Marian K. is accused, of other cases that have already been investigated,” Kaliňák continued, as quoted by TASR. “The same daily now writes that he was in charge of the whole police force a year later.”

Daniel Lipšic, attorney

Lipšic was not surprised by the content of the communication.

“Criminal groups and white collars have been attempting to discredit, criminalise and eliminate me from my position since I worked as justice minister,” he said, as quoted by TASR.

Lipšic said on July 29, that the communication suggests the existence of criminal groups.

“A criminal group including top-ranking police officers, prosecutors and judges was operating and has been cooperating with criminal organisations and white-collars in Slovakia for a long time,” Lipšic added, as quoted by TASR.

Marek Para, Kočner’s lawyer

Kočner’s communication is definitely not proven, Para said for TASR.

“Neither the completeness nor the circumstances, such as who communicates with whom, nor the legality of obtaining the evidence has been completely proven,” Para said, as quoted by TASR.

We have the means to deal with this evidence, the lawyer added.

“I am literally disgusted by the ongoing leaks from the investigation file concerning Ján K. and Martina K.,” Para said, as quoted by TASR. “Not only because I, as a defender, have not been informed about the existence and content of this communication but also because, after the interference of the prosecutor’s office, I will only be able to learn more about it next week.”

Ján Šanta, prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office

“I will reiterate that first, it is necessary to provide evidence during the main trial, and it can be published only after this evidence is made public in compliance with the Criminal Code,” Šanta said, as quoted by the Sme daily. “This is why I cannot say whether this is the communication I submitted to the court.”

He added that he filed the whole transcription of the communication with the court so both sides can be familiar with its full content.

“I don’t have any other communication,” Šanta said.

For a Decent Slovakia initiative

The initiative expressed their support for honest police officers, investigators and journalists. The transcription of the communication proves that the demands of the gatherings – proper investigation of murders and new trustworthy government – were legitimate.

“The publishing of the communication and the police report proved that journalists writing about links between top politics and organised crime were right all the time,” the initiative commented on Facebook.

They also announced a new gathering.

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