Former PM Fico under pressure

Many in Slovak politics and in the media have either suspected for years or felt they knew of the murky ties two-time former PM Robert Fico has had with various shady characters from the criminal underworld.

Till now Robert Fico has managed to brush off all allegations, including those surrounding the infamous Gorilla case, but this time evidence against him may have mounted up as the National Crime Agency (NAKA) aims to prosecute the former PM and his erstwhile right-hand man and former interior minister Robert Kalinak.

After his initial interview, Fico gave a press conference where he underlined the vagueness of the charges, but press conferences are the forte of vintage populists. Essentially, Fico and Kalinak are being charged with establishing and orchestrating a criminal group and abuse of public office.

Fico’s Smer-SD party still holds strong support in the country and hence, also in parliament, as the largest opposition party. Parliament must issue the approval for a court to prosecute an MP, so even that could get sticky.

In the meantime, the Smer-SD and Fico diehards took to the streets on Thursday to protest the charges against their adulated leader in front of Parliament. This was as the body was reviewing the Special Prosecutor Office’s call to take Fico into custody.

Just how the case will develop should prove interesting, as it seems some of the charges could be related in some way to others involved in the killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova back in 2018.

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