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Corrupt land officer charged

INVESTIGATORS charged Ladislav G, the director of the Regional Land Office in Trnava, with corruption after he accepted a Sk1.5 million (€40,000) bribe from a local businessman.

This is the highest bribe the police have ever managed to uncover, yet Interior Minister Vladimír Palko considers it a "low record for Slovakia," the SITA news agency wrote on May 28.

According to Palko's office, the suspect requested the bribe to ensure approval from his office for the businessman's application to reclassify his farmland as "land for other purposes." This would have scuttled plans for an industrial park, which can only be built on "land for building purposes".

The suspect originally requested a bribe of Sk2.65 million (€70,000), which is Sk10 per square metre of the businessman's 265,903 square metre site, but settled on Sk1.5 million after a May 26 meeting at the offices of the company that applied for the reclassification.

If convicted, Ladislav G. could be sentenced to three to eight years in jail.

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