The accounts of the Slovak oil carrier Transpetrol in the Czech Republic are no longer blocked as a result of a ruling issued by the municipal court in Prague. The verdict ended the distraint proceeding against Transpetrol initiated by the CZ PAP company, seeking the repayment of a sum exceeding €12 million, the SITA newswire reported on August 30.
Because of the proceeding Transpetrol had all payments for transferring crude oil to the Czech Republic for company Česká Rafinérská blocked. This made it difficult for the firm to conduct business and maintain relations, said Ivan Krivosudský, chair of the board of directors of Transpetrol.
“We consider the abolishment of the distraint proceeding reasonable,” Krivosudský told SITA.
The dispute between the state and a group of businesspeople close to eastern Slovak businessman Ignác Ilčišin began in 1995 when the Humenné-based ILaS company made a claim on Transpetrol shares. The claim originated after the tax authority wrongly blocked the company’s rights to real estate in 1995. The company claimed damages based on a letter of intent signed on August 18, 1995, to sell it a production hall. The company originally calculated damages at Sk43.3 million. Based on a contested court action, ILaS eventually acquired 34 percent of Transpetrol shares, then worth over Sk2 billion, from the Finance Ministry in distraint proceedings, but the transfer was later annulled.
Meanwhile, Ilčišin was appointed chair of the BoD at Transpetrol and accepted the fictive debt at €13 million, which CZ PAP claimed, SITA wrote.
Though both the municipal court in Prague and the Czech Supreme Court had stopped the distraint proceeding against Transpetrol in the past, the ruling of the Czech Constitutional Court issued in April 2013 dismissed those rulings and ordered the municipal court to re-open the case, according to SITA.
“The municipal court in Prague as an appellate court took into consideration the valid rulings of the Slovak courts, which definitely stated that Ignác Ilčišin and Ján Husár have never had the right to act in the name of Transpetrol,” the Slovak oil carrier said, as quoted by SITA.
The firm was referring to a ruling issued in 2009 by the Regional Court in Žilina that a 34-percent share in Transpetrol had never been owned by businesspeople close to Ilčišin, but that the state had owned them instead. The court also found the businesspeople guilty of various crimes, with Ilčišin being sentenced to nine years in prison. At the time the Economy Ministry said that this was one of the most important rulings issued in the whole case, according to SITA.
The company also hopes that the Czech courts will issue similar rulings in another two distraint proceedings concerning sums of €300,000 and €179,251, the TASR newswire wrote.
Source: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Sep 2013 at 14:00