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Mečiar minister faces graft charges

INVESTIGATORS have charged the Mečiar-era economy minister Karol Česnek and seven former top officials of the National Property Fund (FNM) with fraud and abuse of power.

The Mečiar-era privatizers are accused of embezzling vast sums from the company DMD Holding between 1994-1998 and of depriving the state of Sk5 billion (€120 million).

Česnek, on behalf of the Economy Ministry as a DMD shareholder, ordered the transfer of shares from former heavily indebted arms producers ZŤS Martin, ZŤS Dubnica nad Váhom, and ZVL Dubnica from the Economy Ministry to the accounts of DMD Holding.

Interior Minister Vladimír Palko believes that the investigation will bring further charges. The daily SME reported that a former deputy from Mečiar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia party, Milan Rehák, may also be charged.

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