THE FORMER mayor of the Bratislava borough of Rača, Pavol Bielik, was re-sentenced to five years in prison on February 24.
The Special Court in Pezinok had already sentenced Bielik to the same prison term in 2007, but Slovakia's Supreme Court overturned the conviction, finding that there was not sufficient evidence against Bielik and returned the case to the Special Court .
Bielik, a former senior member of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) in Bratislava Region, was found guilty by the Special Court in Pezinok (Bratislava region) of soliciting a Sk5 million (€142,000) bribe from Pavol Kollár in October 2003 in exchange for helping a company called “Invest In”, the TASR newswire wrote. The bribe was meant to facilitate planning permission for five new buildings in Rača, but Kollár instead contacted the police.
During the hearing on February 24 the Special Court reviewed the transcripts of the wiretapping and again ruled that they prove Bielik to be guilty, the Sme daily wrote.
The Court also decided to ban Bielik from working as a public servant for seven years and impose a fine of €16,597 (Sk500,000). If Bielik does not pay the fine, he could face an extra year in prison.
Bielik and his accomplice Jaroslav Šuščák, who was sentenced to 4.5 years imprisonment, appealed against the court's ruling, which is therefore suspended. The case now returns to the Supreme Court.