Journalist Tom Nicholson, who has been investigating the Gorilla corruption allegations for the past few years and has written a book on the crony practices in Slovak politics, has decided to file an appeal against the preliminary injunction of the Bratislava District Court I to ban the publication of the book.
The motion to ban the book was filed in February by partner of financial group Penta, Jaroslav Hascak, who is alleged by the Gorilla reports as having given backhanders and commissions to top politicians and people in public office in return for smooth tenders and privatisation.
The injunction sparked sharp reactions, including from outgoing PM Iveta Radicova, not just because the ruling was a violation of the freedom of speech, but also because of how the court had issued its ruling without even examining the book fully. The judge in the case was Branislav Kral, who is know already for the highly controversial ruling to get former President Jan Kovac to apologise to former head of the secret service Ivan Lexa.
An appeal was filed by publisher of SME daily Petit Press, but it is in the position of second instance party, and so nothing could be done until Nicholson himself decided to contest the decision. He will now do this as he continues to work on the allegations and says that the injunction is hindering him from working. “If the court bans my book, they are also banning my main source of income, which is unconstitutional” Nicholson said to SITA newswire.