Special Court sets date for euro-fund fraud case

THE SPECIAL Court for political and organized crime yesterday set a December date to begin hearing the case of a Sk1.6 billion fraud that cost former Economy Minister Pavol Rusko his job in 2005.

The main accused in the case is the former director of the National Agency for the Development of Small and Mid-Sized Business (NARMSP), Ľudovít Balco, who allegedly did not have the proper authorization when he transferred Sk1.6 billion in European Union funds from the NARMSP to the account of a private firm, Cassovia BIC.

Balco’s agency was under the Economy Ministry, and the money transfer cost Minister Rusko his job. The money was returned to the ministry after then-Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš took over its leadership.

Balco yesterday proclaimed his innocence, saying that he had had the proper authorization, and that the whole case was a political set-up involving the secret service.

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