Kalinak Versus Galko in Wiretapping Affair

One of the things to surface out of the recent wiretapping affair are transcripts of conversations between former interior minister from Smer-SD, Robert Kalinak, and Pravda journalist Vanda Vavrova.

Robert Kalinak from Smer-SD (c) Pavol Freso

The conversations are in a very familiar tone, with Kalinak urging Vavrova to discredit recently recalled defence minister Lubomir Galko over a speeding incident, for instance.  The transcripts were sent anonymously to several leading media, and reveal Kalinak making it clear that he wanted Vavrova to be his special communication channel to the editor-in-chief of Pravda at the time, Nora Sliskova.

Kalinak also put pressure on by saying he would not be divulging secrets to Vavrova anymore because another daily, daily SME, was being more accommodating to him. He also mentions how he would get a specific journalist fired if he was provoked.

Even so, Kalinak denies that he had sway over the daily Pravda in any way. Talking at a press conference, Kalinak refused to comment on the transcripts as such, referring to them as illegally leaked private conversations, but he did apologise for the foul language he uses in them. Kalinak has decided to join the growing list of people who are filing criminal complaints against the recalled defence minister Lubomir Galko for abusing the system of wiretapping.

The anonymous person who sent the transcripts to the media used the name “The real friend of Pravda”, but Kalinak believes it was Galko himself who leaked the conversations, because earlier in the week Galko had announced the release of info concerning a relationship between a politician and a journalist.

Lubomir Galko from SaS party (c) The Daily.sk

Galko denies orchestrating the leak involving Kalinak, though, saying that the recording merely proves that Kalinak is steering daily Pravda and had access to data from the military intelligence unit VOS. Galko was recalled from the post of defence minister this week over the wiretapping of four journalists. He will replace his substitute in parliament as an MP now.

It seems that with no scruples in the Slovak media about what they publish, we can expect to see more transcripts released in the near future, with many politicians now worried that maybe their name is about to be pop up in some transcript as well.

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