THE REGIONAL Prosecutor’s Office in Bratislava has filed a lawsuit over the underpriced sale of so-called platinum mesh by the Administration of State Material Reserves (SŠHR) back in October 2011. The lawsuit concerns three people, the TASR newswire reported on May 30.

The prosecutor sued three men, Juraj L., Ján K. and Ondrej B. who were recently charged by police with the especially grave crime of violating duties when administering other people’s property.

“The General Prosecutor’s Office was supervising the case since the beginning of the criminal proceeding,” said spokeswoman Andrea Predajňová, as quoted by TASR, adding that “its prosecutor agreed with the way of terminating the preparatory proceeding via submitting lawsuit”.

The prosecutor says that the three men acted in conflict with the interests of the state to which they caused damages of more than €2.2 million, as reported by TASR.

Back in October 2011 media outlets reported that the SŠHR, led at the time by Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) nominee Eva Hrinková, repeatedly broke the law when selling platinum mesh to a company belonging to Michal Hudoba, an SDKÚ candidate in the 2006 general elections. The inspection found that it broke the law when it invited possible bidders to take part in the sale via the web. Moreover, it acted illegally when selecting an expert to assess the value of the platinum being sold, Sme wrote in 2011. The platinum mesh is probably already abroad.

The case resulted in Hrinková leaving her post in November 2011.

The police charged three men: the head of the committee to open and evaluate bids in electronic auctions, a member of this committee and a machinery expert. Police said they failed to secure an adequate selling price for the platinum mesh in the auction, “by which they acted in conflict with the lawful duty of the Administration of the State Material Reserve to handle the property of the state with maximum care”, Police Presidium spokesman Michal Slivka told TASR in March.

The expert assessed the general value of the platinum mesh at €81,270, ignoring the fact that the material for the production is platinum and rhodium.

“This resulted in the mesh being sold for €667,656, although the market value was at least €2,895,490,” Slivka said, as quoted by TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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