Cabinet Ignored Mafia In Slovakia, Despite Warnings: President KiskaČTK
Bratislava, March 7 (CTK) – The Slovak intelligence service (SIS) for long warned ministers of a mafia group operating in eastern Slovakia, President Andrej Kiska said today, two weeks after the murder of a journalist who wrote about business linked to mafia and its ties to people close to PM Robert Fico.
“People have the right to hear an explanation why the cabinet members for many years ignored the warnings of our own secret service,” Kiska told a press conference.
“The SIS director has told me that he had been warning of the operation of a mafia group in eastern Slovakia for a long time,” Kiska said.
In his last, unfinished article, journalist Jan Kuciak, 27, wrote about the links of Antonino Vadala, an Italian businessman in east Slovakia, to National Security Council secretary Viliam Jasan and Fico’s assistant Maria Troskova.
The two resigned from their posts after the murder of Kuciak and his fiancee in late February pending the closure of the investigation.
“People have the right to an open and honest answer to the suspected interconnection of the government power and organised crime. People have the right to the explanation of how it is possible that our institutions had ignored the warning by Italian authorities against the operation of persons linked to mafia in eastern Slovakia,” Kiska said.
Server Aktuality.sk, for which Kuciak worked, wrote earlier this week that as early as 2013, Slovakia received information from Italian authorities about Vadala’s contacts with mafia.
Businessman Vadala, nevertheless, has dismissed any contacts with mafia along with the speculation about huge EU subsidies he had got owing to his political contacts.
Kiska repeated that a government reshuffle or an early election are ways out of the current situation, which amounts to a crisis of the state’s trustworthiness
He did not react to previous lash-outs of Fico, who said Kiska is playing power games and threatens to destabilise the state.
Kiska indicated that he will attend the Friday meeting of Fico leader of the senior ruling Smer-Social Democracy, and Andrej Danko, head of the junior government Slovak National Party (SNS), which the latter initiated.