A COURT in Switzerland confirmed that for more than a year Jozef Rydlo, an MP for the Slovak National Party (SNS) was unlawfully taking a disability pension from Switzerland while serving as a member of the Slovak parliament, the Sme daily wrote. Rydlo started the court case in April 2008 after the Swiss social insurance company stopped paying his pension in response to an article written by a native Slovak and Swiss publicist, Irena Brežná, calling attention to the fact Rydlo was receiving the disability pension while earning almost €3,300 a month as an MP in Slovakia.
Rydlo claimed in front of the court that the money he received from the Slovak parliament was not a salary but only remuneration for the activities of an MP and that is why he did not inform the Swiss insurer, Sme wrote.
The court did not accept Rydlo’s argument and ordered him to return all the money he unlawfully received from the insurance company, a sum that will be specified by the insurer.
According to Sme, an average pension in Switzerland is 1,600 Swiss francs and Rydlo will have to return pension payments for 17 months, which could amount to over €16,500.
SNS announced the issue has already been resolved and that there will be no consequential action taken against Rydlo by the party leadership.
“Mr. Rydlo has explained that in the case of him taking a pension from Switzerland it was not his intention, but a lack of knowledge,” SNS secretary Jana Benková said.
Rydlo’s application for disability pension in Switzerland was accepted in 1993 and he was paid the pension back to 1990, with a diagnosis that “since 1985 he has been suffering a neuro-depressive syndrome with coordination problems and atypical anxiety developing into deficit schizophrenia with paranoid features,” Sme reported. According to Benková, he is suffering from no disease that would make it impossible for him to serve as an MP.
There had been previous controversies surrounding Rydlo. He was accused of an attempt to kill his ex-wife and children in Switzerland. He has also allegedly been using the title of professor which he received from the William Ritter Company (which Rydlo co-founded) and which was neither approved by the Swiss nor the Slovak authorities, Sme wrote.
16. Mar 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports