Former attorney general Dobroslav Trnka (currently Deputy AG) allegedly tried to halt the investigation into the Gorilla corruption affair involving dubious ties between politicians and big business, according to information from SME daily.
Trnka apparently tried to halt the investigation at the time he was standing for re-election to the AG post, by writing directly to the Military Prosecutor’s Office recommending that they let go of the case. The prosecutor at the time was investigating how some agents from the secret service SIS were trying to use surveillance materials to bribe those involved.
Among other things, Trnka expressed that the investigation was illegal, also because it had already been investigated by the Special Prosecutor’s Office with no charges or allegations as a result. He also said that the Gorilla transcripts could even have been fabricated for the sake of blackmail.
Coincidence maybe that Trnka wanted the case halted just before he could potentially be dethroned, which he was in the end, albeit only formally. Trnka, who was surely well aware of the Gorilla case that had existed for the whole of his 7-year term of office, said: “We are probably investigating some kind of intelligence game with no evidence, and I’d be surprised if any prosecutor was willing to put his signature to it”.
Interior minister Daniel Lipsic jumped at the chance, saying the letter clearly shows who wanted the Gorilla affair investigated and who didn’t. Lipsic pointed to how the investigation had been moving forward and that the police were being thorough about it, until it was halted once again in August 2011.
In his defence, Dobroslav Trnka issued a written statement yesterday rejecting the claims, noting how the quotations used in daily SME were taken out of context. As a result, his office has published the full wording of Trnka’s letter on the internet.
Trnka has been criticised before for amicable relations with Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party, for instance, which was battling tooth and nail last year to get Trnka re-elected for another seven years in the post. The party must have a lot of faith in Trnka’s integrity.
As it stands, the post is still empty thanks to the crony stance also of President Ivan Gasparovic, who is refusing outright to instate Jozef Centes as attorney general, even though he was duly elected in June last year.
According to the Gorilla reports, Robert Fico visited Jaroslav Hascak from the Penta financial group in the flat that was being monitored. The reports outline in detail also how Fico’s personal advisor reportedly had regular communication with Hascak on various issues, including how Penta would finance the Smer-SD party with SKK 5 million.
The potential truth behind the Gorilla affair is screaming out loud, but could still be drowned out by the background noise of legal threats, excuses, denials, silences, and arrogance. Arrogance like Fico’s astonishing refusal to say whether he had been in the flat or not, which more likely indicates that he had been, of course.
Maybe everyone who is accused in the Gorilla affair should simply be put under oath and asked about the case. Let them take lie detector tests, even if not admissible in the courts. Surely they would agree to this if they have nothing to hide.
One of the biggest problems in investigating corruption in Slovakia is that the cancer has spread uncontrollably for years. The Gorilla allegations point to both left and right wing parties and leaders, which has produced a certain unwritten alliance between them to combat the evil and unfounded accusations against them.