Premier: Gorilla an Expose of Dzurinda Gov’t’s Corruption, Fico Beyond Reproach

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Smer-SD head Robert Fico (left) and Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 16 (TASR) – Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) welcomes the fact that the alleged Gorilla case recording has gone public and emphasises that the case is not a scandal of his Government, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

As for its segment featuring Smer-SD chair Robert Fico, Pellegrini stated that it makes up a negligible percentage of the recording and Fico can sleep well knowing he’s beyond reproach. The scandal gives a clear picture to the public of how the second government of Mikulas Dzurinda [2002-06] operated and privatised state assets.

“Gorilla has nothing to do with my Government. This is a 2011 thing [the year when the recording’s transcripts were leaked – ed.note] and it reveals a clear picture to the public of how the cabinet of Mikulas Dzurinda governed this country and sold off the most valuable enterprises that Slovakia has ever had for bribes,” Pellegrini claimed in Parliament.

The prime minister expects the alleged recording to match the transcriptions of conversations leaked back in 2011. “Quite likely it says the same stuff as in the transcripts. Namely, how the state property was pillaged and plundered under Dzurinda’s government, how kickbacks were promised and given to various individuals everywhere and how privatisation was run. It shows clearly how members of that government operated and, thankfully, they’re no longer in power or else they would have sold off even their own pants,” he stated.

Pellegrini pointed out that the parts featuring Robert Fico don’t suggest any violations of the law or criminal activities.

The Gorilla scandal is also a legacy of non-parliamentary Together-Civic Democracy leader Miroslav Beblavy and his political life, claimed the Prime Mister [A self-proclaimed fresh face in politics, Beblavy used to be a member of SDKU-DS – ed.note]. “He should rather be small and silent, instead of acting like a saviour of the world,” he said.

A number of Slovak media have received a link via email to an audio recording of Penta financial group co-owner Jaroslav Hascak’s 2005-06 conversations about privatisation-related bribes with political figures of the day, which came to be known as the Gorilla case. Penta in reaction to the leak has announced that it will seek legal action.

The conversations were held in a safe flat on Vazovova Street in Bratislava, allegedly wiretapped by Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS). The recording was found by police in December 2018 at the house of entrepreneur Marian K., who faces charges of ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak.