An infiltration to the heart of the Slovak state, the unfinished investigation of Jan Kuciak (V2)

(B2) Jan Kuciak was indeed investigating a hot topic: the presence and infiltration of the Italian mafia, in particular Calabrian (the 'Ndrangheta), in the Slovak economy and up to a certain level of the State. The Daily Online News, to which he belonged, has published the first elements of the investigation, with supporting diagram, on which the young journalist was working, murdered last week in his house some 60 km from Bratislava (read: Ján Kuciak murdered by whom? Why ?). Even the unfinished article is eloquent… and disturbing.

What do we learn?

Several characters with links to the Italian mafia - Carmine Cinnante, Antonino Vadala - came to take refuge in Slovakia to escape trials or convictions in Italy. They did business, received grants, especially from Europe, and most importantly, established relationships with politically influential people especially in the government office.

Millions of EU grants

These men manage hundreds to thousands of hectares of land, and as such receive European subsidies. In 2015 and 2016 alone, their companies managed to obtain more than eight million euros in direct payments from the agricultural payments agency, says News. Vadala thus creates companies with a vengeance, in particular GIA management with Mária Trošková. He also has as a business partner, Viliam Jasaň.

An infiltration to the heart of state security?

Two characters that we find… at the top of the state. First of all, Mária Trošková is adviser to Prime Minister Robert Fico. Aged 30, a former top model, she is also chief of staff to Viliam Jasaň, the director of the office of the State Security Council or Bezpečnostnej rady štátu (BR SR). An advisory body which has a key role in the security of the Slovak Republic. Chaired by Prime Minister Robert Fico, it includes the main ministers concerned by a security problem (Interior, Defence, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Economy, Justice, Transport, Health).

An organization aware of all defense secrets… and of NATO?

Its role is to assess the security situation in the Slovak Republic and in the world. It prepares proposals for government measures on crisis prevention. In other words, he can access certain service analysis documents, classified as “secret defence”. Its 2018 work program thus provides for it to be informed of the various NATO crisis exercises (such as the CMX 17 crisis management exercise), the state of nuclear safety, energy supply or food, the number of soldiers employed, their distribution, their equipment and the installations of the armed forces, etc.

The two individuals announced this Wednesday (February 28) their intention to resign but said “ categorically reject any connection with this tragedy. Our names were abused in the political struggle against Prime Minister Robert Fico ».

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

A request for information sent to the Slovak authorities

Asked during the daily press briefing on Thursday 1 March, the spokesperson for the Commission recalled that " Member States (were) primarily responsible for the legal management of European funds”. The European executive thus sent " a letter to the competent authority in Slovakia requesting information on the possible misuse of agricultural funds " he added. The Commission has " no tolerance for fraud with European funds. And we therefore insist on a clear commitment by all Member States to prevent fraud ". (CB/ES)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).