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Police drop blackmail charges against economy minister

Slovak police's anti-corruption unit has shelved an investigation against Economy Minister Pavol Rusko for his alleged blackmail of Miroslav Rapšík, general director of the SE electricity utility, the news wire TASR wrote.

The investigation ended because the investigator had come to the conclusion that the criminal act was not committed. The Prosecutor's Office received the decision on April 1.

Allegations against Rusko appeared in August 2003, but Rapšík himself said at the time that nobody had used any extortion against him.

Investigations against Rusko followed several threads - blackmail, gross pressure, and white-collar crime. Of the six cases involved, the five remaining cases date back to 1998-2001 and concern the Drukos company.

This firm belonged to a group of companies running unlicensed deposit companies that collapsed in 2002. Rusko's activities allegedly cost Drukos about Sk65 million (€1.6 million). Drukos director František Mojžiš is one of the very few bosses of such companies not taken into custody.

Rusko had said that it might be due to his close connections to politicians of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), who control the interior and justice ministries.

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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