The mystery is starting to unravel surrounding the report of Russian daily Kommersant at the beginning of August claiming that former prime minister Robert Fico was behind the Slovak company Gazprom Ltd.
The huge share capital of the company, which is why the company is now under investigation, was EUR 0.5 billion. At the time Robert Fico denied any involvement with the company, but it has been questioned recently why he still has not filed a lawsuit against the Russian daily or demanded satisfaction.
According to daily SME, the Slovak company Gazprom registered with the tender for the sale of the large chemical plant NChZ in Novaky. The company went up for sale after going into bankruptcy, also thanks to a massive fine from Brussels due to a cartel agreement.
The Slovak company is represented by, and shares an address with, lawyer Karol Hatapka, who is known for his ties with the SNS party, and was even nominated by the party to the Board for Broadcasting and Retransmission (RVR). Hatapka would not comment, saying only that he was “bound to confidentiality”.
The Slovak Gazprom company was incorporated on 11 August 2010, coincidently on the same day as the call for bids for the chemical plant was published. It then registered with the tender on 31 August, while still being officially owned by Maltese company Marica Limited, with a minority share held by Priemyselny park Partizánske.
At the start of September the stake changed hands to the Slovak company Bio Profit, which was partly owned by Daniel Mihok. In 2006 Mihok sat in the Supervisory Board of Transpetrol and ran the company MH Development, which falls under the Ministry of Economy, so he clearly has political connections.
Investigations are pending by the Financial Police and the tax authorities, but the strange company is now invoking more questions and could also be the target of a lawsuit from Russian Gazprom over infringement of its trade name.