FRIEND of Prime Minister Robert Fico and alleged sponsor of the Smer party Miroslav Výboh was allegedly personally involved in negotiating the provisions for the purchase of the Pandur armoured vehicles by the second government of former Czech PM Mirek Topolánek. This stems from the testimony of Lutz Kampmann, former manager of the Austrian company Steyr, the Sme daily reported in its November 11 issue.
Kampmann told the court that Výboh invited him to a meeting in December 2007 at which he asked for provisions at three times €6 million. According to him, Výboh said that “the Czech side” (meaning then deputy transport minister Martin Barták, Topolánek and lobbyist Marek Dalík) asked him to negotiate about the possible reduction of the agreement, as reported by Sme.
Dalík has been described by the Czech media as Topolánek’s cashier. He is charged with allegedly asking for an €18-million bribe from representatives of Steyer, which was contracted to provide the armoured vehicles. This dates back to 2007.
In his testimony before the court in July, Dalík stated that Výboh brought up the issue of the Pandurs at a secret meeting of the four men. He admitted that such meetings took place repeatedly, always confidentially and always attended by Topolánek with Dalík and Fico with Výboh, Sme reported back in July. He however did not specify what the men discussed during those meetings.
After reporting on the case, Fico admitted that Výboh is his friend and that they have known each other for 20 years. He did not see a problem with the fact that he took the businessman along to an unofficial meeting with former Czech PM Topolánek. He however denied discussing Pandurs, Sme wrote.
Kampmann has already given the testimony about Výboh’s role in the case during an international investigation. He now confirmed his words in front of the court which he attended by phone. The Austrian prosecutors are still investigating the Slovak participation in the case.
Meanwhile, Výboh testified in front of the court in September, rejecting all accusations of corruption.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
11. Nov 2014 at 14:00