March 4. 2024. 6:31

The Daily

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Former Interior Minister of Slovakia charged with corruption, again

Currently leading the latest polls, SMER-SD is facing yet another high-level corruption charge that is likely to be overturned using a controversial paragraph which also cleared its chair’s case in November.

Robert Kaliňák, Slovakia’s three-time Minister of Interior for SMER-SD, is facing charges of corruption.

He is alleged to have helped pay roll the head of Slovakia’s Financial Administration in exchange for his loyalty, starting in 2012. The bonus of over €200,000 a year allegedly came from oligarch Jozef Brheľ, who has close ties to SMER-SD, and who is also charged in the case. Kaliňák’s lawyer said that the charge is based “solely on a false statement”.

SMER-SD has seen many of its high-profile personas, including chair Robert Fico, face criminal charges since the change in government in 2020. This is the second time that Kaliňák himself has been criminally charged since April last year.

His previous charges of organising a criminal group within the government were cancelled in November after Prosecutor General Maroš Žilinka used a disputed mechanism to make sure the case never reaches trial. The controversial paragraph 363 is now under legal review by Slovakia’s Constitutional Court, after a challenge by the president.

For the snap elections planned for 30 September, SMER-SD is currently polling first, followed by Hlas-SD, which consists of SMER-SD defectors, a poll from last week shows.

(Barbara Zmušková |