Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic announced on Wednesday, March 9, that a deputy in the Slovak Parliament is to face a parliamentary motion aimed at lifting his MP’s immunity from prosecution. The move comes over the MP’s alleged involvement in the so-called bulletin-board tender, a dubious and possibly corrupt tender process that took place at the Construction Ministry during the term of the previous government, when the ministry was under the remit of the Slovak National Party (SNS). The SNS is now in opposition.
Lipšic did not deny that the deputy in question is SNS MP Igor Štefanov, who served as a senior official at the Construction and Regional Development Ministry when the tender was announced and was later appointed minister after his party colleague Marian Janušek was fired. "An investigator on Tuesday pressed charges against four persons. At the same time, a prosecutor received a proposal to launch a motion aimed at divesting a fifth person of their parliamentary immunity. M.J. [sic] has been accused of machinations in a public procurement, the violation of obligations in administering the property of others and serious misuse of the powers of a public official," Lipšic said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The remaining people have been accused of machinations in a public procurement. "They [the people concerned] caused damage worth Sk3.6 billion [€119.5 million]. It's one of the most serious cases involving senior officials of the former government," said Lipšic.
The Construction and Regional Development Ministry in 2008 announced a tender for the supply of various legal and advertising services co-financed by EU-funds, however the competition was announced solely on a notice board located within the ministry building, in an area not normally accessible to the general public. The ministry subsequently signed an agreement with the sole bidder – a consortium that included two companies, Zamedia and Avocat – and paid out part of the money for the services. It later came to light that both Zamedia and Avocat have links to SNS leader Ján Slota and that the consortium's bid was extremely expensive.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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10. Mar 2011 at 10:00