NEWS IN SHORT

Corruption scandal shakes Banská Bystrica Region

POLICE have detained Ján M., an employee and close associate of Milan Murgaš (Smer), the head of Banská Bystrica Region, and accused him of accepting a Sk2 million (€66,388) bribe to facilitate the sale of a public building at a below-market price.

POLICE have detained Ján M., an employee and close associate of Milan Murgaš (Smer), the head of Banská Bystrica Region, and accused him of accepting a Sk2 million (€66,388) bribe to facilitate the sale of a public building at a below-market price.

The Banská Bystrica Region has not commented on the case, the Sme daily wrote.

Ján M., the director of Murgaš’ office, was only detained for a short time.

Despite a request by a Special Prosecution Department prosecutor to have Ján M. taken into custody, the Special Court declined to grant the request and Ján M. was released on August 22. The investigation continues.

Ján M. is alleged to have sought the bribe in return for pushing through the sale of the building, part of the Domov Sociálnych Služieb nursing facility in Veľké Pole, Žarnovica District, for a reduced price to the organisation running it.

According to Sme, a year ago local deputies approved the sale of the real estate for Sk6 million, while its value was estimated to be almost double that. The maximum penalty for corruption is 12 years imprisonment.

Milena D., the director of the non-profit organisation Domov Sociálnych Služieb, has been also accused of paying a bribe.

There have been previous allegations of corruption affecting Banská Bystrica Region.

One of Ján M.’s predecessors, Milan Mráz, was accused, along with Gabriel Karlin, of accepting a bribe. The case is still before the courts.


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