The non-parliamentary Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) wrote to the Agriculture Ministry on September 28 admitting that it had allowed the state to pay thousands of euros to have its June election campaign leaflets printed, but said that it was an unintentional mistake, Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon told the TASR newswire on Tuesday, October 5.
He was commenting on the criminal case his ministry had launched against the HZDS over alleged abuse of public office and misconduct in administering third party property. In the previous election term, when the HZDS was one of the ruling parties, the Agriculture Ministry under HZDS nominee Vladimír Chovan paid €8,250 to have HZDS election campaign leaflets printed by a ministry-controlled food research institute.
Simon (Most-Híd) voiced doubts about whether the HZDS had really invoiced the ministry by mistake. He pointed out that none of its representatives had felt compelled to stop wasting public money before the order was placed, leaflets printed and invoice settled. Now, as it faces prosecution, there has been a change of heart, he noted. Simon revealed that the HZDS has offered to settle the bill but, according to him, the criminal complaint cannot be retracted nor the crime undone.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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6. Oct 2010 at 10:00