Slovak prosecutor drops racism charges against former PM Fico

FILE PHOTO: Robert Fico arrives at the EU summit meeting in Brussels, Belgium, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

PRAGUE (Reuters) – A Slovak special prosecutor has dropped racism-related charges against former prime minister Robert Fico, leader of the ruling Smer party, TASR news agency reported on Monday, meaning the case goes back to investigators.

Police charged Fico last month after he released a video message supporting far-right former lawmaker Milan Mazurek.

The Supreme Court ruled in September that Mazurek, from the People’s Party-Our Slovakia (LSNS), had committed a crime with comments aimed at the Roma minority.

The prosecutor did not give a reason for the decision and declined to give details as the case is still active.

The center-left Smer, the biggest partner in a three-party ruling coalition, has seen its poll lead shrink before a Feb. 29 general election, hurting its chances of being able to put a new coalition together after the vote.

Fico resigned as prime minister in 2018 in the wake of mass public protests against corruption prompted by the murder of an investigative journalist.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by Nick Macfie

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