Slovakia's deputy special prosecutor has been authorised to request parliament's approval to detain Robert Fico, a sitting MP.
Following the authorisation, Deputy Special Prosecutor Ladislav Masár filed the request on April 22, according to Denník N.
General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka issued the authorisation after excluding Special Prosecutor Daniel Lipšic from making decisions in the case against Fico, who leads the Smer party. The general prosecutor argued that there could be doubts about Lipšic's impartiality in the case, general prosecutor's spokesperson Dalibor Skladan announced, as reported by the TASR newswire. Lipšic was formerly an MP and minister, during which time he was a political opponent of Fico's.
Fico stands accused of a number of crimes, with the allegations against him dating back to the time when he served as prime minister. His one-time right-hand man and former interior minister Robert Kaliňák was also charged on Tuesday as part of a police operation codenamed Twilight.
The prosecutor has requested custody for Kaliňák, which the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok is to decide on later this afternoon. That proceeding is scheduled to start at 15:00.
The Special Prosecutor’s Office has also filed a motion with the Specialised Criminal Court to remand in custody lawyer Marek Para, who was among the other individuals charged this week as part of operation Twilight, which is led by the National Crime Agency (NAKA).
Fico, as an MP, cannot be taken into custody unless his fellow MPs allow it. The approval must be granted by more than half of the votes in the 150-seat parliament.