THE RESULTS of an audit of the finances of public-service Slovak Television (STV) for the past year are “scandalous” Culture Minister Daniel Krajcer was quoted as saying on June 21 by the TASR newswire. STV merged with Slovak Radio to form Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) at the beginning of this year.
Under the management of the previous general director, Štefan Nižňanský, STV spent €3.8 million in violation of its budgetary rules, Krajcer said based on the results of the audit.
He added that the auditors found information that could lead to charges of serious crimes, including accounting fraud and misappropriation of funds.
“In light of these facts I am required to file a criminal complaint, which I will do,” said Krajcer.
The minister called the audit the first step in a cleanup process within the public-service broadcasters which he said were left in a condition similar to the “Augean stables”.
“Nothing's been done in this area for years,” Krajcer said. “No useful audits have been produced, no liabilities have been determined in spite of the fact that tens of millions of crowns have been stolen.”
Nižňanský rejected what he called the “vicious accusations” levelled against him by Krajcer.
“I view this as a case of a politically-motivated persecution and shallow scandal-mongering in a country where accusations and defamations get published and are viewed as facts,” Nižňanský said.
The former STV director claimed that the contract that was signed between the public-service broadcaster and the Culture Ministry was carefully prepared by STV management and that there were consultations with a special commission of that ministry in 2009.
“All resources were used in filling the demands of producing and broadcasting programmes, films, documentaries and various genres. I'm convinced that the money was all spent in this way,” Nižňanský said, as quoted by TASR.
27. Jun 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff