THE OPENING of the trial of the head of the Slovak Deaflympic Committee, Jaromír Ruda, and Košice-based notary public Stanislav Furda began on April 13 before a senate of the District Court in Banská Bystrica and was scheduled to resume on June 1, the SITA newswire reported. Both defendants are charged with fraud involving funds that were to be used to stage the Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia in February 2011.
The prosecutor charged that notary Furda was entrusted with Sk52 million (about €1.7 million) in 2008 from a sponsoring Slovak firm that was supposed to be used for organising the Deaflympics but that, based on agreements with Ruda, he transferred funds to various accounts and withdrew cash totalling Sk48.5 million and paid back only Sk3.5 million on the agreed deadline, SITA wrote.
Ruda and Furda both stated that they are innocent. The notary told the court that he did not defraud anyone as he “sent the money to the accounts according to Ruda’s orders”.
In February 2011, Ruda was detained while trying to cross the Slovak-Hungarian border and charged with fraud involving €11 million by Slovakia’s Office for the Fight Against Corruption and a judge from the country’s Specialised Criminal Court placed him in pre-trial custody. The police have stated that Ruda fraudulently borrowed €10 million from at least four companies to finance the Deaflympics and that he neither returned the money nor provided evidence to document its use.
The prosecution also charged that Ruda fraudulently obtained at least €1 million in 2010 from member associations of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). Ruda could be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison if found guilty of the charges against him.
The 17th Winter Deaflympic Games were scheduled to start in the High Tatras on February 18. The ICSD cancelled the competition a week before it was due to begin when it became apparent that venues for the games were not ready.
18. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff