As the appellate court, the Regional Court in Bratislava has ruled that journalist Tom Nicholson can publish his book on the Gorilla corruption affair, which came to the fore of public attention at the end of last year pointing to alleged crony ties between politicians and financial group Penta, SME online reported today.
Nicholson was planning to publish the book earlier this year after having investigated the case for some two years, but the public exposure received by the Gorilla reports (codename of the Slovak intelligence service SIS, which produced the reports) after being published on the internet, combined with early elections, put the publication on hold.
In the meantime, partner at Penta financial group Jaroslav Hascak, who figures heavily in the Gorilla reports, filed for a preliminary injunction to ban Nicholson’s publication over protection of personality. The District Court in Bratislava accommodated his request in February 2012, much to the distaste of many, including then PM Iveta Radicova.
The injunction prohibited the distribution or publication of the book, but this first instance ruling has now been overturned, meaning the publication can theoretically go to the press. The ruling concerns only the preliminary injunction, though, and not an actual lawsuit lodged by Hascak against Nicholson, which is still pending.
At the end of May, the Regional Court in Bratislava ruled against another petition filed by Hascak against several internet service providers in which he tried to get a preliminary injunction to have the Gorilla reports removed from the internet.
The publication of this book is a victory for the freedom of the press irrespective of the authors’ credentials. I can’t help but note that, despite much of what Nicholson alleges has been in the “public domain” since the Gorilla affair surfaced, not one public official with a duty to investigate his claims has shown any indication of taking action. It would appear that the only time anyone will be investigated or arrested is if they are found with a box of money in their possession.
Mr. Nicholsons’ tome will gather dust on bookshelves, the bent and corrupt will carry on as normal, laughing at the rest of us.
How will this book be published ? In English or in Slovak . Other than a bystander few, who will actually read it, or even understand the implications among the voting population ??
To me Nicholson has wasted three years on his life for nothing, other than a giant add and tick to his third rate news reporters huge ego.