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BUSINESS BRIEFS

State halts VSŽ share-sale inquest

A STATE investigator has halted criminal prosecution in the case of the sale of shares of former steel maker VSŽ from the portfolio of former state-owned oil pipeline operator Transpetrol, special prosecutor Ján Bernát told private TV Markíza.

The transaction, which moved the VSŽ shares into pockets of a group of financial speculators in the last minutes of stock trading in 2001, sparked an insider trading scandal and outrage from US Steel Košice, which had been offering the Economy Ministry, then Transpetrol's owner, a considerably higher price for the shares.

Former economy minister Ľubomír Harach was suspected of leaking inside information before the trade.

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