Bratislava, March 4 (TASR) – An appeal senate of the Supreme Court on Thursday released former Justice Ministry state secretary Monika J. as well as former Bratislava regional court judge Richard M. from custody, but the former, who’s been charged under the National Crime Agency’s (NAKA) Operations Storm and Gale, which both concern corruption in courts, didn’t enjoy her freedom for very long, as she was immediately redetained in regard to another case.
“This is what releasing people from custody looks like in Slovakia. My client was released by a judge overseeing preliminary proceedings, who clearly explained why my client is not supposed to be in custody,” stated Monika J.’s lawyer Peter Erdos, adding that his client has paid €100,000 bail and that the Supreme Court ordered her to wear a monitoring device.
The lawyer confirmed that the detainment is linked to the so-called Fatima case, which concerns an identically-named restaurant in Trencin. “An investigator has informed me that the reason behind the move is concern over influencing witnesses and continuing with criminal activities,” said Erdos, adding that Monika J. experienced a mental breakdown upon her arrest.
The ex-secretary has been charged in regard to the case since September 2020. Trencin-based entrepreneur Ondrej Janicek has complained that back in 2002, Monika J. as a judge championed the interests of late mafia boss Peter Congrady and abetted the mobster in taking over Janicek’s restaurant Fatima.
Following the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak, Janicek and witness Michal V. alleged in 2018 that Monika J., then as state secretary, took bribes as a judge and worked in cahoots with the mafia. At the behest of Monika J., the police arrested Janicek for slander, but released him in the wake of a media firestorm. Meanwhile, witness Michal V. disavowed his statements.