Sylvia Volzová testified at the trial against her former business partner, ex-head of the private broadcaster TV Markíza and ex-economy minister Pavol Rusko, on September 20.
Her attendance was questioned by some since she had been absent at the previous proceedings due to concerns about her safety, the Sme daily reported.
“I pondered attending the trial and coming to Slovakia after my more-than-two-year absence,” said Volzová, who has been living in Germany and uses the name Sylvia Klaus, as quoted by Sme.Related articleRead more
Judge Pavel Juhász said back in May that if she did not come on her own, he would ask the police to bring her in. Volzová stressed that she came not due to the threats, but because she honours the courts.
“I’ve been feeling very insecure and threatened since late 2017,” she said, as quoted by Sme. “This is why I asked the police in Germany for help in protecting my health and life.”
Fear for her life
Volzová testified for more than three hours. She said several times that she does not remember many things since they happened more than 22 years ago.
She described how she started to fear for her life in 1997, particularly after Rusko had been recalled from the post of TV Markíza’s authorised representative in 1996.
In the months that followed she spotted several men near her flat in downtown Bratislava who acted suspiciously. She also mentioned that Rusko told her several times to leave Slovakia and boasted how easy it was to get rid of somebody for 2,000 German marks or by installing an explosive in one’s car, Sme wrote.
Meanwhile, some employees of the broadcaster, including those from top management, told her about the potential danger.
Volzová also claimed she had no access to financial information or the broadcaster's financial statements, even though she was one of the co-owners. In her words, Rusko had interfered in the content of the broadcast and was also approving who appeared on the screen.Related articleRead more
Rusko called these statements lies, Sme wrote.
The September 20 proceeding was also attended by former mafia boss Mikuláš Černák, who in fact launched the whole case with his testimony against Rusko two years ago. As he said at the time, Rusko even paid him a guarantee of 0.5 million Slovak crowns.
He apologised to Volzová for accepting the order to murder her.
However, Róbert Lališ, former head of the Sýkorovci organised crime group, who is also accused of planning Volzová’s murder, has rejected claims that he knew about the ordered murder. He even denied its existence, Sme wrote.
Influences on investigation questionedRelated articleRead more
It is possible that Volzová’s lawyer Roman Kvasnica and perhaps the prosecutor will ask the court to add to the investigation file the conversation between businessman Marian Kočner, who stands accused with Rusko in the case of forged promissory notes for TV Markíza, and Norbert Bödör, encrypted via the Threema app.
These conversations suggest how they tried to influence the investigation to ensure Rusko would not be prosecuted and the investigator Lukáš Kyselica would be removed from the case, the Denník N daily reported.
The court will continue in December, with the testimonies of more witnesses.
23. Sep 2019 at 12:46 | Compiled by Spectator staff