The Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office announced on Wednesday, August 8, that it does not intend to pursue a complaint lodged by then interior minister Daniel Lipšic just before the general election in March. Lipšic demanded the cancellation of the 2004 privatisation of a power generator, Steam-Gas Cycle (PPC), which was sold to the Penta financial group for around Sk2 billion.
The Sme daily reported that Lipšic had in March insisted that the sale was an example of fraud and that it had caused the state a loss of Sk500 million. René Vanek of the Prosecutor’s Office said that the conditions for filing a lawsuit had not been fulfilled because the complaint was received too late.
However, Lipšic said that a ten-year, not a three-year, limitation applies to the case as it involved sale of assets in natural monopolies.
Lipšic claimed, according to the TASR newswire, that the price paid to the state for PPC was well below its market value because the generator had a contract to supply electricity to the state-run power generator Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) which guaranteed it profits several times higher than its sale price.
Penta dismissed Lipšic’s claims as 'demagogy'. Its spokesperson, Martin Danko, said that all the contracts cited by Lipšic had to be re-negotiated following the sale, to the group’s disadvantage, and that this was a crucial condition of the tender. The General Prosecutor’s Office also rejected Lipšic’s claims, calling on him first to check the facts before making such statements.
Sources: Sme, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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10. Aug 2012 at 10:00