THE KOŠICE I District Prosecutor’s Office on March 25 dropped the charges pressed by a police investigator against former Tax Directorate head Miroslav Mikulčík for a “serious crime related to a violation of duties in handling the property of others” involving the controversial relocation of the Tax Directorate office in Košice to new premises.
The prosecutor's office last year dropped another charge against Mikulčík pertaining to the controversial introduction of a new tax information system, which eventually appeared to be dysfunctional. According to the police investigator, Mikulčík committed a crime by signing an addendum to the contract for the new tax collection system with IBM. This addendum allowed IBM to avoid any responsibility if the system were to fail. Indeed, this later happened and the Financial Directorate had to return to the old system. The damage has been estimated at €8.8 million.
In 2011, Mikulčík was involved in a scandal surrounding the rental of premises for the Tax Office in Košice. It emerged that the building was provided under murky circumstances by the Nitra Invest company, belonging to then Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) Nitra district chairman Ondrej Ščurka, while both the Finance Ministry and Tax Directorate were dominated by SDKÚ figures - Ivan Mikloš and Mikulčík, respectively. The scandal caused a major uproar in the government, with then prime minister Iveta Radičová insisting on Mikulčík’s removal, while Mikloš put all his energy into backing Mikulčík. Eventually, Mikulčík resigned, but shortly afterwards he was given the post of general director of the newly-established Financial Directorate, which was set up from the merger of the Tax Directorate and the Customs Directorate.
“I didn’t commit any crime,” Mikulčík told TASR. “I view the accusations against me as part of political games and intrigues,” he said, adding that he was preparing a lawsuit to defend his reputation.
The Tax Directorate had paid almost half a million euros to the Košice-based VSH company for investing in its own building, but then ended up in the Nitra Invest–company building. Police found that there was no reason for the financial obligation towards VSH, and charged Mikulčík with violation of duties when administering other people’s property, the SITA newswire wrote. Mikulčík filed a complaint, and succeeded: on March 24, the Košice I District Prosecutor’s Office abolished the ruling of the police investigator and ordered it to again act and decide in this case, the prosecutor’s office spokesman Milan Filičko told SITA.
(Source: TASR, 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.
26. Mar 2014 at 10:00