NEWS IN SHORT

Olejník behind bars

FORMER Košice and municipal councillor František Olejník is in prison now, the Sme daily reported in its May 13 issue.

FORMER Košice and municipal councillor František Olejník is in prison now, the Sme daily reported in its May 13 issue.

Olejník, who was sentenced for accepting a bribe, became notorious after information was published that Justice Minister Tomáš Borec submitted a special appeal in the case, claiming that the courts decided on the case without relevant evidence. Borec faced harsh criticism from the opposition for appealing in favour of Olejník.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal in April.

Originally, the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok sentenced Olejník in July 2012 to five years in prison with a fine of €3,000 for corruption. The verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court in April 2013. Borec stepped into the case in December 2013 by filing a special appeal, which was then rejected.

The case dates back to 2007, when Košice businessman Jozef Maskaľ showed interest in buying lucrative municipal-owned property in the city centre. At the time Olejník served as a member of the Košice city council and he allegedly accepted a bribe of Sk340,000 (over €11,000) from Maskaľ to ensure that the deputies from his caucus voted in favour of the sale, the Trend weekly, which originally broke the story, wrote.

The city sold the building to Maskaľ in March 2008 for more than €178,000, while according to the courts that later dealt with the case, the market price for the land was at least twice as high.

Olejník’s road to prison proved complicated until the very end, Sme reported. The Specialised Criminal Court issued an order to send him to prison on May 9, the court’s spokesperson Katarína Kudjáková confirmed for Sme. The order was to be executed immediately, according to Sme, but it took the police three more days to bring the sentenced Olejník to prison.

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