A new hot topic has emerged ahead of Slovakia’s parliamentary election this spring: Alleged corruption at the highest levels of government, and anger over lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution. The allegations have stirred dissent among some Slovaks who have taken to the streets to vent their anger at the government and the opposition. The accusations stem from wire-tap transcripts — whose authenticity have yet to be verified by police — of alleged secret meetings between Slovak officials and local business leaders. The transcripts are contained in a report allegedly compiled by the Slovak Intelligence Service. According to local media reports, the intelligence document — code named Gorilla — was compiled over many years by the spy agency and leaked to Slovak press late last year. Police haven’t charged anyone in connection with the leaked document.
The report was first published by an anonymous blogger a few days before the Christmas holidays and later picked up by traditional Slovak media outlets, including this English language site. Some local media argue that only rookie politicians are safe from the allegations in the Gorilla report. The report doesn’t contain any direct evidence that government officials took bribes. Earlier this week, the Slovak spy agency said that its agents were carrying out undercover operations aimed at uncovering potential corruption at high government levels. But the agency stopped short of confirming the Gorilla report.
In a bid to rally support for a bill that strips lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution, 17 newly elected politicians from the Freedom and Solidarity Party, or SaS, have posed naked for a photo — and posted it on the party’s Facebook page. Under current immunity regulations, lawmakers don’t face fines for even misdemeanors or offenses like drunk driving. Meanwhile, anticorruption campaigners from the Gorilla Protest movement are planning rallies in seven cities and towns across the country on Friday, despite a bitter cold snap. The main event, scheduled for 4 p.m. CET, will take place in Bratislava’s main square.