BUSINESS IN SHORT

Platinum mesh case goes to court

THE PROSECUTOR of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Bratislava has filed a lawsuit over the underpriced sale of platinum mesh by the Administration of State Material Reserves (SŠHR) that occurred back in October 2011.

THE PROSECUTOR of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Bratislava has filed a lawsuit over the underpriced sale of platinum mesh by the Administration of State Material Reserves (SŠHR) that occurred back in October 2011.

The prosecutor sued three men, the former head of the committee to open and evaluate bids in electronic auctions, Juraj L.; a former member of this committee, Ján K.; and assessor Ondrej B., who were recently charged by police with the especially grave crime of violating duties when administering other people’s property, and the misdemeanour of false expert opinion, the TASR newswire reported on May 30.

“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 terminating the preparatory proceeding via submitting a 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. This is one of the few cases in which the assessor will stand before the court as one of the accused.

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 the SŠHR 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, the Sme daily wrote in 2011. The platinum mesh is probably already abroad.
The case resulted in Hrinková leaving her post in November 2011.

The police said back in March that 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, as reported by TASR.

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