Slovak gas utility SPP won’t have to pay 400 million Czech crowns (€15.56 million) to the Czech company DRAFT-OVA following a September 17 decision of the Bratislava Regional Court confirming a lower court ruling.
Bratislava V District Court in October 2012 turned down the complaint filed by DRAFT-OVA, which been demanding the sum based on the so-called “Ducký promissory notes” [referring to former economy minister Ján Ducký]. The ruling overruled another court ruling in May 2007, which said that SPP would have to pay.
The decision was then confirmed by the Bratislava Regional Court in April 2009, but both verdicts were subsequently challenged by then-General Prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka who appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in May 2010 declared all the preceding verdicts of the two lower-instance courts invalid, assigning the Bratislava V district court to look into the matter once again, the TASR newswire wrote. DRAFT-OVA viewed this as an unauthorised intervention of the state into its right to judicial protection and to fair court proceedings. The company has already appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.
Even though the latest ruling of the Bratislava Regional Court has become effective, if the European Court for Human Rights complies with the complaint, Slovak courts will be obliged to re-open the case. The promissory note, or bill, in question was issued by Ducký as then-CEO of SPP to Czech entrepreneur Roman Zubík in September 1998. Meanwhile, a number of controversial promissory notes worth millions and billions of Slovak and Czech crowns signed by Ducký have been brought to court. SPP considers all “Ducký’s bills” fraudulent. According to the privatisation contract, the bills come under the remit of the state. Ducký allegedly signed 24 such promissory notes including 12 in former Slovak crowns, and another 12 in the Czech currency, TASR wrote.
Ducký was murdered on January 11, 1999 and, while the circumstances surrounding his murder have never been fully clarified, the bills have aroused speculations that they are related to the murder.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. Sep 2013 at 10:00