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Slovak state wins again in Transpetrol case

In the complex, protracted case of the Transpetrol company, the state won another round October 30. The Regional Court Bratislava ruled that the companies Brilant, a.s., and Darts spol. s.r.o. Košice have no right to be included on the list of shareholders of the Transpetrol company.

In the complex, protracted case of the Transpetrol company, the state won another round October 30. The Regional Court Bratislava ruled that the companies Brilant, a.s., and Darts spol. s.r.o. Košice have no right to be included on the list of shareholders of the Transpetrol company.

The regional court confirmed that only shareholders have this right, and none of the two plaintiff companies is a shareholder. The court also opined that they were not able to acquire the shares of Transpetrol back in 1998 as they claim, as by that time, only the state could have owned these shares.

The court proceeding was initiated by the companies and people connected to eastern-Slovak businessman Ignác Ilčišin, Economy Ministry spokesman Stanislav Jurikovič told the SITA newswire. In 1998, the companies claim they acquired a 34-percent share of the oil-trading company Transpetrol, a.s., through a distraint proceeding.

“This is another ruling that proves the baselessness of the claims of
Ignác Ilčišin and other people collaborating with him, Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský said. “And although the companies Brilant and Darts will probably appeal the verdict, I consider the verdict another success of our ministry.”

The dispute between the state and a group of businesspeople close to Ilčišin began in 1995 when the Humenné-based ILaS company made a claim on the shares of Transpetrol, the then state-owned oil carrier. 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.

In 2009, Regional Court in Žilina ruled that the 34-percent package of shares on Transpetrol was never owned by businesspeople around Ilčišin, but always by the state. The Žilina court also found them guilty of various crimes, with Ilčišin himself being sentenced to nine years in prison. Transpetrol transport oil and stores it for the purchasers and for the Administration of State Material Reserves. In 2002, the Yukos Oil Company bought a 49-percent stake of Transpetrol for USD74 million, while the Slovak state kept 51 percent.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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