Slovakia’s former prime minister Robert Fico and his interior minister Robert Kalinak on Wednesday were charged with setting up an organised crime group, their party spokesman said. Fico and Kalinak were forced to resign in 2018 after an investigative journalist’s murder exposed high-level corruption and sparked a wave of anti-government sentiment. Their populist left-wing Smer-SD party later lost a snap election. “Robert Fico and Robert Kalinak have been charged with setting up an organised crime group — whatever that means,” party spokesman Jan Mazgut told AFP. Local media reports claim the organised crime group in question was made up of senior police officers, including the former police chief, who allegedly protected their political allies and investigated individuals the Smer-SD considered against its interests. Fico rejected the accusations, claiming it was “political revenge”. “Everything was done on the orders and with the consent of the government’s political leaders,” he posted to Facebook. “They literally made up a story about how I allegedly formed a criminal group.” Police confirmed the pair had been charged but refused to comment on anything else, including a local media report that Kalinak had been arrested.