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Prosecution remains tight-lipped about tunnel asset-stripping

Slovakia’s prosecution and police have declined to confirm Prime Minister Robert Fico’s statements on April 14 that former Slovak Road Administration (SSC) managers had been accused of illegal asset-stripping in the Branisko tunnel project, except to say that police are looking into the case, the TASR newswire wrote.

Slovakia’s prosecution and police have declined to confirm Prime Minister Robert Fico’s statements on April 14 that former Slovak Road Administration (SSC) managers had been accused of illegal asset-stripping in the Branisko tunnel project, except to say that police are looking into the case, the TASR newswire wrote.

After a meeting with his Swiss counterpart Pascal Couchetin, Fico said that the Slovak police had brought criminal charges of serious economic fraud against nearly all members of the former SSC management based on an investigation by Swiss police that uncovered a scheme of assert-stripping at Branisko tunnel (Presov region).

"Out of respect for the ongoing enquiries, we will not provide any details,” said Svetlana Husarová, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General Office, adding that Swiss police (who cooperated in the case) have asked Slovak authorities to also place an information embargo during the probe.

[At nearly five kilometres, Branisko is Slovakia's longest road tunnel. Its construction started more than decade ago, was interrupted due to lack of funds, but resumed in 1999 and was finally opened in both directions in 2003. - ed. note]. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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