Bratislava, October 10 (TASR) – Opposition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), OLaNO and We Are Family have called on Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) to step down from his post over an investigator’s conclusion that Fico committed the crime of violating tax confidentiality when he spoke about the taxes of OLaNO leader Igor Matovic at a press conference in the run-up to the 2016 general election.
“We can’t subscribe to his line of reasoning that in this case the right to freedom of expression had to be put first. The prime minister shouldn’t violate Slovak laws in the name of the right to freedom of expression with the intention of discrediting his political opponents because that would mean violating several Constitutional articles,” reads a joint statement released by SaS chair Richard Sulik, OLaNO 2016 slate leader Veronika Remisova and We Are Family chair Boris Kollar.
Furthermore, SaS, OLaNO and We Are Family want Prosecutor-General Jaromir Ciznar to ensure an unbiased and independent investigation into this “unprecedented case”. “We’re also urging Robert Fico to tender his resignation. The circumstances indicate that it is his tenure as prime minister that is obstructing the administration of justice,” reads the text.
On October 9 Matovic’s lawyer Daniel Lipsic cited a resolution of a Bratislava Regional Police Corps investigator. According to Lipsic, the investigator established that “Fico’s move met the formal criteria of violating tax secrecy. Freedom of speech, which is considered to be especially broad in politics, and the public interest were considered to be key factors eliminating culpability for the deed”.
Moreover, the proceedings against Fico were also dropped because of Fico’s claim that he obtained the documents on Matovic from other people. However, no witness has confirmed that anyone presented the documents to Fico at a public rally, as he claimed, noted Lipsic.
“Fico’s claim that he obtained the documents at a public rally shortly before the press conference isn’t supported by any other evidence apart from his own testimony. Quite the contrary, all further evidence disproves his testimony,” said Lipsic, adding that freedom of speech wasn’t considered at all in the case of Igor Matovic, who went public with information allegedly received from an anonymous sender concerning Fico’s purported secret bank accounts in Belize.