The communication, sent through the Theerma app, between controversial businessman Marian Kočner, Jaroslav Haščák of the Penta financial group and Alena Zsuzsová, who stands accused of ordering the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, shows why Kočner and Haščák wanted to help Pavol Rusko, a former owner of the private broadcaster TV Markíza, to avoid being put behind bars. The texts were published by the Denník N daily.
Rusko is currently charged with forging promissory notes worth €69 million for TV Markíza and for ordering the murder of his ex-business partner Silvia Volzová. He could stand as a witness in the cases that concern Kočner and Haščák, too. Thus, the two wanted to help Rusko in the Volzová case, according to Denník N.Read also:Read more
Kočner, accused of ordering Kuciak's murder, is charged in the promissory notes case alongside Rusko as well. On the other hand, Haščák's name is featured in the 2011 corruption-related case file, Gorilla. He is said to have bribed politicians. Rusko also served as an economy minister between 2004 and 2005.
The texts published by Denník N suggest that Kočner and Haščák wanted to prevent Rusko from testifying against them. As a result, they found and paid lawyer Marek Para to help him.
Rusko was arrested in October 2017.
Kočner texts Zsuzsová about Rusko
Three months before Rusko was detained, Kočner had sued him and TV Markíza in the promissory notes case, demanding €69 million.
Kočner claimed that Rusko had signed the promissory notes in 2000, but there is no record of them having been signed. Instead, there is a suspicion that Kočner used Rusko's bad financial situation at the time and made him commit fraud. If Rusko confirmed this version in court, Kočner would immediately lose the case.
Kočner talked about Rusko's detention with Zsuzsová, who then believed Rusko might actually have ordered Volzová's murder.
“She wanted to get him killed,” Kočner was convincing Zsuzsová, as quoted by Denník N. “He has my best lawyer. Something is not right there.”
Para is defending Rusko in the Volzová case. At the same time, he is defending Kočner in the Kuciak case.Read also:Read more
“He [Rusko] is a too big of an investment to leave him sunk,” Zsuzsová replied, as quoted by Denník N. “Secondly, I am not surprised you are feeling something is not right. I could not believe him.”
Kočner reassured Zsuzsová everything would be all right. Para was to make sure Rusko would not do something stupid, like claiming that he had been forced to sign the promissory notes by Kočner, according to the text messages.
Haščák reportedly paid for Rusko's lawyer
Shortly after one of the Bratislava courts sent Rusko to prison on October 26 of 2017, Kočner texted Zsuzsová about Haščák.
“He [Rusko] will go home. Soon,” wrote Kočner, as quoted by Denník N. “And you know who will pay for it all? The lawyer, cops, judges, and a prosecutor - to silence Pavol, not me.”
“I discussed it with Haščák yesterday while on the plane,” Kočner continued, as quoted by Denník N. “I scared the hell out of him [Haščák].”
Kočner went on to say in the text that Haščák would buy the promissory notes.
Haščák has not confirmed anything Kočner wrote, but he denied he would have bought the promissory notes, Denník N wrote.Read also:Read more
Kočner texted Haščák about Kuciak
The investigation into Kuciak's murder showed that Kočner texted Haščák in January 2018 about his intent to get rid of somebody. It was a month before Kuciak was murdered.
“Anyway, I am working on having an idiot removed,” Kočner wrote, as quoted by the SITA newswire. Haščák later claimed they may have meant investigator Kyselica, who was working on the Volzová case.
Volzová's lawyer Roman Kvasnica said there had been efforts to reverse the case in a way that Volzová would have been made an orderer, not the victim, as reported by SITA.
Disclaimer: the Penta financial group has a minority share in Petit Press, the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.
20. Aug 2019 at 22:02 | Compiled by Spectator staff