After seven and a half years of court wrangling, the District Court of Bratislava I passed a verdict on the libel case between finance minister Ivan Miklos and former prime minister Robert Fico, over accusations made in 2003 by Fico that Miklos had probably gained his wealth from commission from privatisations.
The court ruled that Fico will have to make a public apology through the media and pay the legal costs. After the verdict was announced, Fico’s lawyer Zuzana Kupcova said they would not comment, but that they would be launching an appeal.
Miklos’ lawyer Ernest Valko underlined that Fico had not substantiated his accusations and that he had scandalised Miklos by his false claims. Enforcing such a judgement can be almost impossible in Slovakia, though, so it will be interesting to see if Fico will ever apologise for his statements.