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Ducký’s Bills case closed again
20 Sep 2013 Flash News
The Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) gas utility will not have to pay one billion Czech crowns (i.e. €38.649 million) to Swiss company Gen Man Ventures in the so-called Ducký’s Bills case. Deputy General Prosecutor René Vanek withdrew the special appeal that former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka submitted in 2010 against the previous verdicts, which means that all court proceedings have been closed, the SITA newswire reported on September 19.
Vanek made his decision after checking the merits of the appeal.
“He identified with the rulings of the courts and considers them legal, therefore he withdrew the special appeal on September 17, 2013,” said spokesperson for the Office of General Prosecutor Jana Tökölyová, as quoted by SITA.
The withdrawal of the special appeal also means that the Supreme Court will not have to deal with the case again, as it was ordered to by the Constitutional Court earlier in the year.
The senate of the Constitutional Court sided on August 13 with the complaint of the Swiss trade company Gen Man Ventures AG, which has been seeking payments for the so-called Ducký’s promissory notes worth over €38 million through general courts. The senate ruled that the Supreme Court’s proceeding violated the plaintiff’s right to have a lawful judge decide the case.
The chairman of the Constitutional Court senate, in its brief reasoning, said that the violation occurred when Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin arbitrarily changed the working schedule of the Supreme Court and replaced a judge in the senate who was to decide on an appeal filed by the general prosecutor in the case of the Ducký notes. The Constitutional Court also ordered the Supreme Court to cover the plaintiff’s trial expenses, SITA reported.
According to the Constitutional Court, the chairman of the Supreme Court did not list the reasons for replacing a member of the senate, neither while making the change nor in his response to the complaint requested by the Constitutional Court. The chairman said that there were no legal reasons for replacing the judge, arguing that it is not possible to change judges already assigned to a senate without legal justification, and that this change had an impact on the ruling, SITA wrote.
Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court did not decide on the merit of the case as to the validity of the Ducký notes.
Ducký, who served as economy minister in two governments under former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar between 1992 and 1998, allegedly signed at least 24 of the controversial promissory notes back in the 90s, some of whose holders later tried to use to obtain billions of Slovak crowns from the state. Ducký himself was murdered on January 11, 1999. The circumstances surrounding his death have never been explained. One such note, worth one billion Czech crowns, is owned by the company Gen Man Ventures.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
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