BUSINESS BRIEFS

Outcry against Devín banka profiteering

The Justice Ministry said October 2 that it was powerless to challenge a court decision September 28 awarding the post of bankruptcy trustee on the failed Devín banka financial house to lawyer Ernest Valko one day before a new bankruptcy rule was to substantially cut the fees trustees earn.

Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová has estimated that Valko stands to earn Sk500 to 600 million ($10 to $12 million) on the bank case if he recovers Sk5 to 6 billion for creditors; had Bratislava regional court judge Eugen Palásthy waited one more day before awarding the post, Valko would have had his earnings capped at Sk10 million. Valko called the minister's estimate "inflated", and said neither he nor the judge had known the rules were due to change.

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