The Office of the Special Prosecutor has dropped criminal charges against former economy minister Pavol Rusko, the chair of the now-defunct New Citizen’s Alliance (ANO) party, who had been accused by a specialised team of the Police Corps Presidium with fraud in connection with the sale of the state-owned energy producer, Steam-Gas Cycle (PPC), in 2004, the TASR newswire reported on March 23.
In its statement, the Office of the Special Prosecutor wrote that the accusation was unjustified, explaining that Rusko could not have had influence over the allegedly disadvantageous price for the sale of the company because the National Property Fund (FNM) was the sole body in charge of the privatisation. The special prosecutor also said that the fact that Rusko did not re-submit an analysis that his ministry had prepared, which showed that the sale was disadvantageous for the state, did not have any effect on the contract, which had already been signed.
The statement declared there was no specific evidence that proved that the former economy minister in any way took part in the disadvantageous privatisation of PPC, worth more than €66 million, TASR wrote.
Rusko welcomed the ruling saying “what I have been thinking has been confirmed”.
“This is the eighth fabricated accusation during the tenure of a KDH [Christian Democratic Movement] nominee at the Interior Ministry [Daniel Lipšic, outgoing Interior Minister] and the eighth that the special prosecutor has dismissed,” Rusko said, as quoted by TASR.
Rusko added that the accusations were forced on the prosecutor’s office by the outgoing government in an attempt to gain control over the office.
“I cannot imagine what would have happened if they had pulled it off,” Rusko told TASR. “In my view it is the prosecutor’s office that guarantees legality, not the Interior Ministry headed by an ideological nominee who will do anything in order to gain preferential votes.”
Outgoing Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic responded that he was surprised to see how quickly the special prosecutor acted in Rusko’s case, saying that he was “quite disconcerted to learn about that decision”, as quoted by TASR.
The minister said he hopes that an investigation will continue after the new government takes office, saying that if the investigative team is free to act without any political pressure, first results could be seen in the relatively near future.
For more information about this story please see: Rusko comments on sale of PPC to Penta
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
26. Mar 2012 at 14:00