THE GENERAL Prosecutor’s Office will not request that parliament vote to remove the immunity from prosecution enjoyed by MP Igor Štefanov of the Slovak National Party (SNS), saying that all the facts that would justify making such a request have not been confirmed, Slovak media reported on May 6.
Štefanov is suspected of manipulating a public tender worth €120 million, known as the bulletin-board tender, while serving at the Construction Ministry in the previous government.
The acting general prosecutor, Ladislav Tichý, said that he could not find any criminal intention behind Štefanov’s actions, the Sme daily reported.
Tichý is reportedly a close colleague of Dobroslav Trnka, the former general prosecutor, who is running to return to the post in a repeat election against the governing coalition’s candidate, Jozef Čentéš, scheduled to take place in parliament on May 17.
Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic said Tichý’s decision regarding Štefanov is a signal to members of parliament that that if the present leadership remains at the prosecutor’s office there will always be someone to protect politicians accused of corruption, Sme reported.
Štefanov is one of four people accused in the bulletin-board tender but is the only one protected by parliamentary immunity.
Štefanov became construction minister after his predecessor, Marian Janušek, was recalled by the SNS under pressure from then-prime minister Robert Fico because of the bulletin-board tender which was ‘won’ by a consortium of two companies reportedly close to SNS chairman Ján Slota. It has been reported that Štefanov was actively involved in the tender process as a deputy and was later forced to resign as minister.
16. May 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff