Not the best alibi

The daily Sme reports that Peter Ziegler, the man who claims to have lent former PM Vladimír Mečiar up to Sk100 million ($2.2 million) to buy a massive villa, is wanted in Russia for fraud, in Switzerland for money laundering, and in Austria for tax evasion.

Ziegler came to Slovakia last week and gave an interview to the Sita news wire in which he claimed to have lent Mečiar the money in 1999 in Swiss francs. He added that Mečiar was to begin repaying the loan in 2005, and that the contract was secured by Mečiar’s Elektra villa as collateral.

The question of where Mečiar obtained the at least Sk41 million he paid to refurbish the villa after losing power in 1998 has not been a major issue in the recent election campaign, but it has dogged the former PM.

Last week Mečiar was filmed striking a TV reporter who had asked him where he had obtained the money for Elektra.

Mečiar has neither confirmed nor denied Ziegler’s claim.

Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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