Investigator seeks Interpol aid to arrest spa privatiser Karol Martinka.

Slovak Interior Ministry spokesperson Jozef Sitár said on May 27 that a police investigator had requested a court-issued warrant for the arrest of Karol Martinka, the former owner of the Piešťany Spa and the general director of the Vadium Group. Sitár said if the courts accept the proposal, the international police group Interpol would be asked to cooperate in finding and arresting Martinka, who is charged with fraud associated with the privatization of the Piešťany Spa.

According to chief investigator Jaroslav Ivor, the investigation has also focused on the FNM state privatization agency and Martinka's Vadium Group company.

The accused has declined to speak to Slovak police investigators and is staying in Austria. When investigators requested that he appear for a hearing, he twice sent a letter apologizing that health problems and fears for his safety do not allow him to return to Slovakia.

Karol Martinka is the husband of Blažena Martinková, onetime personal advisor to former Prime Minister Vladimir Mečiar. According to Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner, Martinka's actions left Slovakia 602 million Slovak crowns poorer.

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