Defendant former Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico refused to testify to police in his case today, where he faces charges, among other things, for crimes of abuse of power and the formation and support of criminal groups.
According to his lawyer, David Lindtner, Fico’s resolution to the prosecution was not explained. Fico said he would comment on the case later at a press conference.
Three-time former prime minister of Slovakia and now MP Fico, along with his fellow Social Democrats (Smer-SD) and former interior minister Robert Kaliňák, are suspected of abusing the police and financial administration against political opponents while in power.
Both lost positions in the cabinet during the political crisis following the assassination of journalist Ján Kuciak in 2018. Two years later, Smer-SD ended up in the opposition following an election defeat.
“The Honorable Member said he didn’t understand what he was to blame. The content of the resolution was not explained to us so we could understand it and know what we had to defend. For this reason, the representative exercised his right and refused to testify,” Lindtner said.
Police suspect both Fico and Kaliňák of abusing institutions to discredit political opponents, including former President Andrei Kiska and former opposition politician Igor Matovic, now finance minister and chairman of the most powerful government, the Ordinary and Independent.
Populist former prime minister of Slovakia Robert Fico runs crime gangs from his office, prosecutors say | World | Sunday Timehttps://t.co/wRZQRWRodH
– Zdeno Jasicek (@jasicek) 26 April 2022
Fico previously described Kiska and Matovic as tax fraudsters, and the public also leaked non-public information about the Kisk company. Prosecutors recently charged the former president in connection with his corporate tax case; Kiska, who defeated Fica in the 2014 presidential election and later politically opposed Fico, called her demands revenge for the former prime minister.
This weekend, the Slovak parliament will have to decide whether to grant the prosecutor’s office’s request to sue Fica. According to the constitution, courts in Slovakia cannot send MPs into custody without the prior approval of the Chamber of Deputies. The court handed down custody of Kaliňák, who is not a member of parliament, last weekend.
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