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Special Prosecutor's Office opens investigation into SPP privatization

Based on an order from Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka, the Office of the Special Prosecutor on January 10 began looking into the choice of privatization advisor for the Slovak gas utility SPP in 2000, the General Prosecutor´s spokesperson, Svetlana Husárová, told SLOVAKIA.

Based on an order from Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka, the Office of the Special Prosecutor on January 10 began looking into the choice of privatization advisor for the Slovak gas utility SPP in 2000, the General Prosecutor´s spokesperson, Svetlana Husárová, told SLOVAKIA.

At a press conference on January 9 in Bratislava, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told journalists that the choice of privatization advisor for SPP was in contradiction with the law.

According to Fico, the current Cabinet has discovered that unaccounted-for expenses amounting to more than Sk227 million (€6.7 million) were paid out.

"We also uncovered the illegal payment of Sk257 million to the privatization advisor. In total, the advisor let the Government pay it (PricewaterhouseCoopers) more than Sk1 billion for advising," emphasized Fico, who went on to outline a laundry list of alleged irregularities.

Trnka, who was in attendance for the press conference on January 9, said he was aware of the assertions presented by PM Fico, who had a long-running legal battle with former economy and later finance minister Ivan Mikloš over improprieties surrounding the sale.

The Special Prosecutor's Office is specifically focused on cases of organised crime and corruption and has its own judicial facility in Pezinok (Bratislava region). TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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