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Čižnár orders to investigate halting the prosecution in PPP case

THE GENERAL Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) will check the decision to halt the prosecution over the alleged manipulation of the analysis regarding a public-private partnership (PPP) project for the construction of certain cross-country D1 highway sections. The initiative came after Daniel Lipšic of NOVA movement turned to the GPO, the TASR newswire reported on October 13.

THE GENERAL Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) will check the decision to halt the prosecution over the alleged manipulation of the analysis regarding a public-private partnership (PPP) project for the construction of certain cross-country D1 highway sections. The initiative came after Daniel Lipšic of NOVA movement turned to the GPO, the TASR newswire reported on October 13.

GPO spokesperson Andrea Predajňová told TASR that even before Lipšic turned to the authority, Čižnár had instructed the Special Prosecutor’s Office to hand over the respective documentation to the GPO with an aim of examining the issue.

The case revolves around the result of a police probe that determined the Transport Ministry, at the time when led by former minister Ľubomír Vážny (2006-10), manipulated an analysis on PPP that had been drawn up by an external company. The story was broken by the Sme daily in early October. It wrote that the investigation even tracked down the likely culprit behind the modified analysis: former head of the ministry’s PPP department Peter Havrila, who would face 10-15 years in prison if found guilty. The Special Prosecutor’s Office has stepped in and halted the prosecution against Havrila however, saying that no crime was committed, as reported by Sme.

“If manipulating an analysis, which is the groundwork for a government decision, to the tune of €500 million is not a crime, then I am asking what powerful people in this country need to do to commit a crime,” Lipšic said earlier in the day, as quoted by TASR.

The analysis in question concerned whether or not, budget-wise, it was a good idea to build a D1 highway section between Martin (Žilina Region) and Prešov via PPP. It was revealed that the figure on the overpriced character of the project had been slashed from €546 million to €29 million in order to give the project a better chance of being given a green light by the government, TASR reported.

According to Lipšic, the prosecution was halted last month because the highway was not built through PPP projects even though the manipulating of the analysis was proven. In addition, the analysis was deemed not to be binding for the government’s decision, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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