POLICE searched the offices of Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) for documents connected to the privatisation of the firm, Economy Ministry spokesperson Miriam Žiaková said. In addition to SE’s headquarters in Bratislava, police conducted their July 23 search in the firm’s locations in Prievidza, Trenčín and Mochovce.

Information of the search was first published on the website of the public-service broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), which referred to the operation as a raid. Žiaková, however, corrected the information, saying they are looking for “archival documents from the period of privatisation”.

Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar specified that they are searching for information in connection to an investigation of two crimes: the violation of duties when managing someone else’s property and misrepresentation of data in the commercial register. He added that in this respect it is necessary to secure certain documents and data.

“Based on their assessment and further actions we will be able to comment on the progress of the investigation,” Gašpar said, as quoted by TASR.

Security analyst Milan Žitný believes there could be two reasons for the police action: it either pertains to privatisation from the time when the government was led by Mikuláš Dzurinda, which he considers less likely, or it has to do with a current possible change of owners, he told TASR.

According to the Sme.sk website, the police action pertains to the period of the “restructuring of the power plant”, and not the current management. It is, however, not especially clear whether this is connected directly to the privatisation process, or the management of the company during the process or shortly after it concluded.

Jana Burdová, spokesperson for SE, told the media earlier in the day that she does not know the reasons for the police action, but stressed that the firm is “fully cooperating with the police and providing them with all required information”, as reported by TASR.

SE is the biggest electricity producer in Slovakia. In 2006 its main shareholder became Italian Enel, after acquiring a 66-percent share. The remaining 34 percent is owned by the National Property Fund (FNM), whose shareholders’ rights are carried out by the Economy Ministry.

Enel has recently announced it will sell the share in some firms of its portfolio, including SE. It has already selected the banks which will advise it on the sale.

Source: TASR, Sme.sk

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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