Former Slovak Prime Minister indicted avoids arrest and pretrial detention

Lawmakers rejected the request for the arrest of former Prime Minister Robert Fico.

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Former ruling party Prime Minister Smar and MP Robert Fico avoid pre-trial detention.

Congress did not support the request filed by the public prosecutor’s office for approval to arrest Fico on Wednesday, May 4. During the vote, 74 lawmakers upheld the request.

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Fico has been charged with threats related to trade secrets, bank secrets, communications secrets, telecommunications secrecy, and tax secrecy. He has also been accused of establishing and supporting organized crime groups and the abuse of power by civil servants. However, unlike former Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, who was charged and arrested by the Smer Party, who is not an MP, Fico’s arrest had to be approved.

Last week, on April 27, the Delegation and Disclaimer Parliamentary Commission recommended that the request from the Public Prosecutor’s Office be a green light. Still, it wasn’t clear until the last moment what the final vote in Congress would be, prior to the debate that lasted several days.

Allowing the arrest of Chair Smer required the consent of the absolute majority of the members present. The vote on Wednesday was attended by all 150 members, but this does not happen often. Therefore, 76 votes were required to pass the request.

Unlike the coalition partners who voted for the request, one of the coalition parties, Sme Rodina, abstained from voting. Two members of the main ruling party, OĽaNO, either did not vote or abstained. The vote was the “biggest defeat” in the political career of Chairman Oano and Treasury Minister Igor Matovič, who have long fought Fico in politics, said Richard Slick, economic minister of Allied SaS.

Most of the coalitions are disappointed with the outcome of the vote, but opposition believes that the desire for political revenge has been lost in parliament.

Even if Congress agreed to arrest, the court would have had to decide to custody Fico before the trial.

Experts said earlier that pre-trial detention would not harm the former Prime Minister or his party. Former Slovak Prime Minister indicted avoids arrest and pretrial detention

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