THE SUPREME Court has turned down the special appeal submitted by Justice Minister Tomáš Borec in the case of František Olejník, a former Smer deputy and Košice city councillor sentenced to five years in prison for corruption, on April 7.
Borec faced a no-confidence vote for the appeal.
Milan Lipovský, chair of the appellate senate, said that both the Specialised Criminal Court and the Supreme Court dealt with the case “very carefully and in detail”, and they found out that “the factual findings have their logic, are based on evidence and therefore it cannot be said that the facts were incorrectly identified, especially when the appeal does not mention specifically where the facts were incorrectly determined”, the TASR newswire reported.
According to the prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, the ruling means that regardless of contacts and titles, “also Slovakia can sentence a person with significant influence”, as cited by TASR.
The Justice Ministry said it respects the ruling.
The case dates back to 2007, when the Košice businessman Jozef Maskaľ showed interest in buying lucrative municipal-owned property in the city centre. At the time, Olejník served as a member of the Košice city council and he allegedly accepted a bribe of SK340,000 (over €11,000) from Maskaľ to ensure that the deputies from his caucus would vote in favour of the sale, the Trend economic weekly wrote. The city sold the building to Maskaľ in March 2008 for more than €178,000, while according to the courts that later dealt with the case, the market price for the land was at least twice as high.
The Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok sentenced Olejník to five years in prison and a fine of €3,000. The verdict was later upheld by the Supreme Court in April 2013. Both courts issued their verdicts based on police wiretapping of Olejník’s phone calls for several months, claiming that the only logical way to explain the phone calls is that Maskaľ and Olejník were talking about a bribe.
Borec however opined that the courts erred and that Olejník is innocent. He filed his appeal on December 20, 2013. According to him, the courts decided without relevant evidence. Olejník was elected to the council from the slate of Smer. Borec, who is a Smer nominee, insisted the appeal is not politically motivated.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
7. Apr 2014 at 14:00