Bratislava, June 1 (TASR) – The National Crime Agency (NAKA) on Friday contacted SME daily journalist Andrej Valcek, who was reportedly intimidated by criminally prosecuted entrepreneur Marian Kocner, the police have posted on a social network.
“The National Crime Agency has started to act proactively based on information in the media, stated the police, adding that police officers personally contacted the journalist and wrote a report on the matter. “Further steps in the sense of valid legislation will now be taken,” wrote the police.
SME daily reported that Kocner has intimidated its reporter Valcek who, along with Trend weekly journalist Zuzana Petkova, was preparing a story on the Technopol case in which Kocner gained €500,000 in a shady manner. Kocner allegedly also intimidated murdered journalist Jan Kuciak over this case.
Instead of stating his stance on a text concerning the Technopol case, Kocner, who is suspected of tax-related fraud, sent the daily questions concerning the privacy and personal life of journalist Valcek, supposedly for a prepared website on journalists. Several of the questions concerned the journalist’s health and family and are not accessible from open sources, explained SME.
According to SME editor-in-chief Beata Balogova, Kocner thus indicated efforts to collect health and family-related information on the journalist with the aim of publishing them, which in fact can be viewed as intimidation. “This is an attack on the freedom of the press,” she said.
Murdered journalist Kuciak last year pointed to the fact that the assets of Bratislava-based company Technopol worth €20 million ended up in the hands of people close to Kocner under suspicious circumstances.
SME and Trend reported that shortly after its hostile takeover Technopol paid €500,000 into Kocner’s personal account. The police have been investigating the case, with several people already facing charges. Kocner reacted by telling Pravda daily that attempts to associate him with Technopol are “schizoid fabrications”.