Police arrest man who demanded Sk10 million from Rusko

FORMER Economy Minister Pavol Rusko is again in the spotlight, this time as an undercover police agent.

At a press conference on March 7, Rusko said that Robert Mikula of Košice had demanded Sk10 million (€268,000) from him in return for protecting him and his family from alleged attempts by "a certain state institution" and the mafia to discredit him and kidnap his children.

Police arrested Mikula, 33, on March 6 shortly after Rusko, who was wearing a wire, handed over Sk2 million in police money to Mikula at Hotel Stupava near Bratislava, the SME daily wrote.

According to the daily, Mikula, a martial arts and "kung fu" expert, was probably a go-between who tells people he can arrange things for money.

Mikula told Rusko that in exchange for the money he would end "all activities aimed at discrediting Rusko, and sweep all of Rusko's cases under the carpet", the daily wrote.

Police Vice-President Jaroslav Spišiak said that Mikula is not a member of any organized crime group, and that he will likely be charged with fraud rather than extortion.

Two weeks ago, Rusko said, Mikula contacted him, saying that two prosecutors and a police investigator were willing to help cover up Rusko's problems with the police.

Rusko is still under investigation by police over Sk100 million in bills of exchange that cost him his ministerial seat last August, and his alleged extortion of the owner of the Drukos company, František Mojžiš.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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