Matovic: Fico Lies, Has Known About the Case for Six Years

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Fico and Matovic during a recent parliamentary session.

Bratislava, February 5 (TASR) – Prime Minister Robert Fico lies when he claims that he acquired the evidence of alleged tax fraud against Igor Matovic-regionPRESS firm, dated from 2008, only these days and thus he released the material on Friday, OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic said at a press conference on the same day.

Earlier in the day, Matovic was accused by Fico of being a tax swindler who employs strawmen to cover his illegal activities.

Matovic says he screened a video recording of a parliamentary debate in December 2010 in which Smer-SD MP Renata Zmajkovicova told  a story similar to the one rolled out by Prime Minister Fico on Friday. Six years ago, however, Zmajkovicova didn’t reveal any specific names. “How is it possible that six years ago, Zmajkovicova had the same evidence at her disposal, the same documents from Trnava Tax Office?” asked Matovic, adding that Fico lied that he learned about the case just now.

“Robert Fico claims that I’m a tax swindler. He’s the Prime Minister, aware of this for six years, he has the file in his drawer but only decides now, after all these years, to hold a sensational press conference to reveal this in the public interest?” queried Matovic.

Matovic conceded that the materials Fico submitted to the media are authentic, although he’s convinced that Fico couldn’t have gained access to them legally. “I had a tax audit in my firm in 2008; the process took some three years. I have the decision of the Finance Ministry, led by Jan Pociatek [2006-10], as well as of the Tax Directorate, that both establish that everything was in compliance with the law, there was no tax evasion and I paid all my taxes,” said Matovic.

The OLaNO-NOVA leader also rejects the accusations that he allegedly laundered 122 million Slovak crowns (€4 million) in his firm. “All the money lodged in my account was taxed. That’s not money laundering. Next week, I’ll submit all the evidence as to how I paid taxes as a ‘zivnostnik’ (self-employed). I have no problem with this and I’ll prove that the ‘zivnostnik’ Igor Matovic paid the highest taxes in the entire Trnava region. That’s honest entrepreneurship,” he stressed.

Matovic believes that the real reason behind Fico’s press conference earlier in the day is the dropping poll numbers for Smer-SD and the fear that the party might lose power. “And then, someone would come to put a quick end to the rackets of Fico and his lackeys,” said Matovic, who has been an MP since the general election in June 2010.