PRIME MINISTER Mikuláš Dzurinda committed a misdemeanour concerning trading in an endangered species by illegally importing fur from a brown bear from Romania in 2003, Michal Štefánek, spokesman for the Slovak Environmental Inspection department told the TASR news wire June 27.
"We investigated the case and it was confirmed that Mikuláš Dzurinda imported the fur without a permit," Štefánek added. However, it happened more than two years ago and cannot be prosecuted now.
According to the law, it is necessary to have a permit from the Slovak Environment Ministry to import bear's fur and a permit from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) for Romania to export it.
The brown bear is rare in southwest Europe. It is forbidden to hunt or hurt them.
Dzurinda was given the fur as a present during a working visit to Romania in 2003.
However, he did not receive it personally. Rather, it was delivered to him through "diplomatic channels", Dzurinda's spokesperson Martin Maruška said.
4. Jul 2005 at 0:00 | From press reports