An investigator from the Office for the Fight Against Corruption pressed charges of fraud against Jaromír Ruda, organiser of the cancelled Winter Deaflympic Games in Slovakia, the Police Corps’ spokesperson, Andrea Dobiašová, told the TASR newswire on February 21.
Police have charged that Ruda, who served as president of the Slovak Deaflympic Committee, fraudulently borrowed €10 million from at least four companies for securing the Winter Deaflympics, saying that to obtain the loans, Ruda provided a false guarantee from the Bank of Columbia.
Ruda has not returned the money nor has he provided proper evidence for the use of it now that the Games have been cancelled, the police said, adding that he also drew at least €1 million from individual foreign Deaflympic Committees and apparently did not use the money for the intended purposes.
Ruda may face up to 15 years in jail and the police are currently trying to determine where the money ended up. Police Corps President Jaroslav Spišiak said on February 21 that Ruda will face new charges but he did not comment further, saying that more details would be provided later.
"He's now facing charges on top of the previous indictment," said the police president, adding that the police will seek to keep Ruda in custody. Ruda was detained by the police during a routine inspection at the Hungarian border near Bratislava over the weekend. Since he is accused of embezzling €1.7 million from funds supposed to be spent on the Deaflympics it is thought that he may have been planning to flee abroad.
The event was scheduled to be held in the High Tatras from February 18 to 26 but it was cancelled at the last minute because the Slovak organisers failed to have everything ready.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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