Fico demands apology over ‘fictitious’ party member

Ex-PM and SMER-SD party head, Robert Fico, told a press conference yesterday that the alleged member of Smer-SD party who had been in touch with the Prosecutor General’s Office with a list of the party’s sponsors in 2006, doesn’t exist.

Fico says the list contains the name “Jaroslav Pochaba”, but that nobody of that name is a party member. “There was no date of birth given, just a permanent residence or some other place. We found out about the name after the Ministry of Interior contacted us to ask whether or not the person was a Smer-SD member or had been active in the party’s structures. There has never been anyone of that name included among Smer’s 16,300 members,” added Fico. Fico also noted that nobody of that name even exists in the country’s Citizens’ Register.

As it was the daily SME that released the initial report, having got the info from Prosecutor General’s office, Fico is demanding an apology from the newspaper and other dailies that took up the report. He said “Are they pursuing serious journalism or just keeping up the campaign that the newspaper launched during the election campaign?”.

At the press conference the SME journalist in question, Marek Vagovic, replied by saying the daily had received the information from the Special Prosecutor, but Fico retorted that he wouldn’t be at all surprised if the journalist himself hadn’t sent in the letter.

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