The regional court in Bratislava has ruled against the petition of partner of financial group Penta, Jaroslav Hascak, for a preliminary injunction to get the reports on the Gorilla corruption allegations removed from the internet, according to information of daily Hospodarske Noviny.
The ruling means the so-called Gorilla reports, which outline suspected crony ties and meetings between politicians and the business sphere, can remain on the 13 portals that were the target of Hascak’s petition.
The verdict is based on how even though the facts in the Gorilla reports (produced by the Slovak secret service SIS) has not yet been demonstrated, the public should be given the chance in a democratic society to examine them anyway and so open up public discussion. One of the internet service providers said the petition was not feasible anyway, as it would be absurd for them to stop other people’s websites.
Hascak was successful with an earlier petition, when he got the book of investigative journalist Tom Nicholson banned from being published pending an official verdict. In both cases, Hascak was contesting that the as yet unproven allegations were damaging his good name. The reports contain various alleged conversations between Hascak and top public figures with talk of backhander commissions for help with privatisation and public orders, for instance.
Whether or not Nicholson’s book will see light of day should be known in June, when the Regional Court in Bratislava will rule on Nicholson’s appeal against the injunction imposed on the book by the court of first instance, the District Court of Bratislava. By chance, the case was presided over by judge Branislav Kral, who has been linked to some dubious verdicts in the past.