Threema app: Kočner reportedly influenced a journalist

The text messages suggest that the journalist wrote positive articles for Kočner in exchange for a luxury holiday.

Marian KočnerMarian Kočner (Source: TASR)

Journalist Martina Ruttkayová was writing stories upon the order of Marian Kočner, according to messages exchanged between Kočner and Ruttkayová via the Threema app, published by the Postoj.sk website.

The police obtained the communication from a mobile phone handed to them by former-journalist-turned-spy Peter Tóth, the Sme daily wrote.

Positive story on Jankovská

While Smer wanted its nominee, state secretary of the Justice Ministry Monika Jankovská, to become member of the Judicial Council, Kočner allegedly wanted Ruttkayová to write positively about her.

“I owe you a favour,” Kočner wrote, as quoted by Sme. “I care about it a lot.”

“I understand :-*,” Ruttkayová replied.

Related articlePolice launch criminal prosecution related to Threema Read more 

The former reporter of the Plus 7 Dní weekly worked at the time for the Plus Jeden Deň daily. Both belong to the News Media Holding publishing house, solely owned by the Penta financial group.

She also asked Kočner if she would cause damage by publishing a positive story about Jankovská. Kočner replied there would not be any problems since Jankovská helped Penta save their meat processing plant, Mecom. The company was facing a bankruptcy proposal at the time, Postoj.sk wrote.

The story was published in Plus Jeden Deň in November 2017.

Ruttkayová, meanwhile, left Plus Jeden Deň and became editor-in-chief of the Glob.sk website. She is currently on maternity leave, Sme reproted.

A luxury holiday

A more detailed communication between Kočner and Ruttkayová was later published by the Omediach.com website.

It concerns text messages from March 2018, when then-justice minister Lucia Žitňanská, nominated by Most-Híd, considered leaving the coalition. Kočner wanted Ruttkayová to inquire more, in exchange for a holiday.

Related articleWhat were the links between Kočner and Penta? Read more 

The communication reveals how they tried to arrange the holiday, including the date and price. Omediach.com found out that Ruttkayová really did not come to work at the time the holiday was booked. She also published pictures from a beach on Facebook, but it is not clear where they were taken.

Responding to questions, Ruttkayová denied for Omediach.com that she was at Cape Verde islands, mentioned in the communication. She failed to answer whether she had ever received anything from Kočner.

The links between Ruttkayová and Kočner have been mentioned before.

Disclaimer: The Penta financial group has a minority share in Petit Press, the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.

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