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Prosecution halted in MP vote-buying case

INVESTIGATORS have shelved a case involving allegations of vote buying in parliament last year, ruling that while a crime had been committed, it was impossible to identify the culprit.

INVESTIGATORS have shelved a case involving allegations of vote buying in parliament last year, ruling that while a crime had been committed, it was impossible to identify the culprit.

Police had been examining a hidden camera recording of independent MP Iveta Henzélyová, a former member of the New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) party, in which she appeared to say she had been promised favours in return for her vote in the legislature.

The recording was made public in November 2005 by ANO Chairman Pavol Rusko, who had planted the camera, the Pravda daily wrote.

"The criminal prosecution was interrupted because facts were not proven that would have enabled a concrete person to be prosecuted," police spokesman Martin Korch said.

Korch added that investigators could re-open the case if new evidence were found.

In the recording, Henzélyová said that someone had offered her various advantages, including the reconstruction of her house, if she voted to support the ruling coalition in parliament, and thus help it survive despite having lost its majority.

The MP refused to comment on the results of the investigation.

On the other hand, Rusko said he was happy with the outcome. "I'm glad that the police proved a crime took place, and I believe that the culprit will eventually be found," he said.


- Martina Jurinová

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