Three-time former Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico will not go to jail after Parliament narrowly rejected a motion to suspend his post Immunity from Prosecution while he is being investigated for organized crime.
Although the current governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Eduard Heger, has a two-thirds majority in the 150-seat legislature, just 74 MPs voted on Wednesday afternoon to let a court decide whether Fico should be remanded in custody, leaving the motion missing two votes.
Particularly embarrassing for the government were the votes of two MPs from the Ordinary People (OLANO) party, whose leader Igor Matovič led the polls in the 2020 national elections on an anti-corruption platform targeting Fico and his now opposition Smer (Direction) party. Romana Tabák from OLaNO did not vote, Katarína Hatráková abstained.
The special prosecutor’s office, which handles organized crime cases in Slovakia, asked parliament on April 22 to lift Fico’s immunity, which every MP enjoys by law, to allow him to be prosecuted. Fico and former Interior Minister Róbert Kaliňák allegedly misused confidential tax and police records against political opponents before 2020 as leaders of an organized group involving former senior police and intelligence officers.
Economics Minister Richard Sulík, head of the OLaNO coalition partner Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), described the failed vote as “the biggest political failure in [Matovič’s] Career… He was defeated by his own MPs. He will never be able to talk about anti-corruption again.”
Matovič, who was prime minister himself for two years before giving way to Heger, alternately slandered Fico and expressed his regret in one social media post that “two deputies of our [party] believe MPs are more important than ordinary people… must have cost this corrupt criminal dearly.”
Matovič noted that all 17 MPs from the We are Family (Sme Rodina) coalition party abstained, adding that “some may have done so [voted] out of naivety, some out of idiocy, some for money, and some just wanting to buy insurance in case they ever face trial themselves.”
Fico meanwhile took on a sober tone after the vote: “I would like to thank every MP who has supported me, just as I respect anyone who had a different opinion.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/former-slovak-pm-robert-fico-police-custody-organized-crime-case/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication The former Slovakian Prime Minister narrowly escapes police custody in the case of organized crime - POLITICO