The Attorney General’s office yesterday cancelled criminal proceedings against former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar for allegedly issuing illegal bonus payments to members of his 1993 to 1998 cabinets. In explanation of the decision, the office said that while bonuses for regular cabinet duties were not permitted by the law, and while Mečiar had been warned of this fact by the Supreme Control Office state watchdog, the bonuses could be considered “a means of rewarding members of the government for their difficult work and an effort to motivate them”, and thus not acts with a criminal intent. The bonuses case, in which Mečiar was investigated for possible abuse of power, involved Sk13.8 million ($290,000) in payments, and in April 2000 took on international significance when police special forces used explosives to blow the door off Mečiar’s private residence and take him in for questioning.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
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10. Oct 2001 at 9:21