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Fraud Suspect applies for asylum in Czech Republic

Businessman Patrik Pachinger, who is being criminally prosecuted in Slovakia for fraud and establishing and supporting a criminal gang in association with the collapse of unlicensed deposit companies BMG Invest and Horizont Slovakia, applied for asylum in the Czech Republic.

Pachinger, co-accused with tycoon Jozef Majský, said he had fled Slovakia in order to prevent the violation of his human rights, news wire SITA reported.

He rejects being connected with the scandal around the crash of deposit companies that deprived Slovak investors of billions of crowns, claiming that he owned the companies that were subsequently proclaimed bankrupt for merely 24 hours and that the state prevented him from applying development measures to the these companies.

He filed a lawsuit with the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg against the Slovak Republic in connection with the case in July. Pachinger claims that his human rights, including ownership rights, have been violated, SITA wrote.

On October 2, the Košice District Court decided that Pachinger must return to pretrial custody, in which he was held from October 21 of last year. On the initiative of Justice Minister Daniel Lipsic, the Supreme Court overruled the verdict of the Košice Regional Court and the Košice District Court, which released Pachinger from pretrial custody on June 21, 2002.

BMG Invest and Horizont Slovakia were unlicensed deposit companies that attracted clients by promising unrealistically high interest rates. Over five years of operation they collected approximately Sk16.8 billion (€406 million) from 170,000 clients. Both companies collapsed in February 2002, leaving the clients empty handed.

According to the police investigation, about Sk41 million (€1 million) was fraudulently transferred from the company's cash desk on the basis of fictitious sales contracts shortly before the shutdown of the companies.

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

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