Former head of Matica Slovenská prosecuted

JOZEF Markuš, former head of Matica Slovenská (MS), Slovakia’s national cultural heritage and research institution, is being prosecuted for the uneconomical use of institution’s property. The charges, which the investigator laid last month, may pertain to the case of the Fund of the MS where the institution allegedly wasted more than €200,000, the TA3 news channel reported on October 14.

JOZEF Markuš, former head of Matica Slovenská (MS), Slovakia’s national cultural heritage and research institution, is being prosecuted for the uneconomical use of institution’s property. The charges, which the investigator laid last month, may pertain to the case of the Fund of the MS where the institution allegedly wasted more than €200,000, the TA3 news channel reported on October 14.

Markuš reportedly learned about the prosecution from the broadcaster.

“The investigator decided to lay charges against Jozef M. for the especially serious crime of violating his duties when administering someone else’s property, which he committed when serving as chair and statutory representative of Matica Slovenská,” spokesperson for the regional prosecutor’s office in Bratislava Oliver Janíček told TA3.

Markuš, who was at the helm of the MS for 20 years until 2010, responded he did not know about the charges and called it “a really serious error”.

The charges came after two-year investigation, after several criminal complaints against him were submitted, mostly by current management of the MS, TA3 reported.

According to the broadcaster, the police blame Markuš for signing documents due to which he and the MS took the debt from the MS fund. The fund was created during first round of the so-called coupon privatisation and several members of the MS submitted their coupons to it. The MS paid off the debt from its own treasury and allegedly did not see the money again, as reported by TA3.

Current management of the MS says that if Markuš did not sign the agreement between the institution and the fund “voluntarily and without approval of the MS bodies”, the institution would have by six million crowns, plus interest, more. Markuš, however, responded that no loss occurred.

“The Fund of the MS was controlled by Matica Slovenská, so there was no threat the money on debt will leak somewhere else,” Markuš said, as quoted by TA3.

Source: TA3

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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