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Crime Agency Seeks Fmr PM Fico's Arrest Over 'Criminal Group'


Slovak outlet Denník N is reporting that the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has detained former interior minister Robert Kaliňák and is seeking the arrest of former Prime Minister and head of the nationalist-populist Smer-SD party Robert Fico. Lawyer Marek Para has also been detained as part of the operation, NAKA stated.

  • The Slovak Spectator, writing on the Dennik N report, states that "Kaliňák has been charged with establishing a criminal group, together with Fico...Denník N wrote that both Kaliňák and Fico also face charges of threatening tax secrecy; the case reportedly concerns the Očistec (Purgatory) case." The 'Purgatory' investigation is a long-running operation by the NAKA seeking to prosecute criminal organisations and corruption in public office.
  • Fico, as a sitting member of the National Council holds parliamentary immunity and therefore cannot be detained until the Mandate and Immunity Committee has recieved a request to remove a member's immunity. The committee decides on the case and whether to forward the request to a full vote in the National Council.
  • Having served as PM from 2012 to 2018, Fico has remained leader of the Smer-SD party. Previously a centre-left, pro-EU party it has developed in recent years into a more populist, Slovak nationalist party emulating that of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban's Fidesz.
  • Recent polling shows Smer-SD as one of the most popular parties in Slovakia, with around 15% support. Fico remains one of Slovakia's most prominent politicians, and his potential detention could have a significant impact on the nation's political landscape.

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