Guilty: Supreme Court delivers final verdict on senior prosecutor

Dušan Kováčik's definitive conviction could clear the way for multiple further cases.

Kováčik in courtKováčik in court (Source: Sme - Marko Erd)

Dušan Kováčik, one of the most powerful persons in the state under successive Smer governments, is guilty of corruption and will serve a prison sentence.

The Supreme Court has delivered a final verdict on the former special prosecutor. It found him guilty of accepting a hefty bribe for releasing the boss of an underworld group from prison, and for repeatedly leaking classified information and materials from the prosecutor’s office. The court sent the former special prosecutor to prison for eight years, and ordered him to pay a fine of €100,000.

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The Specialised Criminal Court originally sentenced Kováčik to 14 years in prison and forfeit of property. The Supreme Court lowered the sentence, with its judges saying that they did not find sufficient reason to convict him for part of the charges, linked to supporting an organised group.

The special prosecutor heads a branch of the prosecution service, the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which oversees the most serious crimes, as listed in the law that regulates the office, including political corruption, high-level financial crime, organised crime and premeditated murder.

The seriousness of the case was stressed by the judge in the original trial. “Who in this republic is an entity with greater powers and authority than the special prosecutor himself?” Specialised Criminal Court Judge Pamela Záleská asked after sentencing Kováčik to jail. “There is no more serious, bigger and significant offender than the special prosecutor himself.”

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Today’s Supreme Court decision was eagerly awaited, and may mark a defining moment for Slovak justice: a range of other cases concerning serious alleged abuses by senior state officials and high-level police officers are linked to the Kováčik case. They include the Twilight case, which involves charges against former prime minister Robert Fico and his right-hand-man and former interior minister Robert Kaliňák, both of the Smer party.

The case against Kováčik

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