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Tipos head to leave his post

THE HEAD of the state-run lottery Tipos, Ladislav Kriška, will be dismissed from his post, spokesperson for PM Robert Fico Beatrice Szabóová told the public-service broadcaster RTVS. The decision came after the Sme daily reported in its November 12 issue that Kriška used the company’s credit card to pay for his private purchase in a luxurious shop in Prague.

THE HEAD of the state-run lottery Tipos, Ladislav Kriška, will be dismissed from his post, spokesperson for PM Robert Fico Beatrice Szabóová told the public-service broadcaster RTVS. The decision came after the Sme daily reported in its November 12 issue that Kriška used the company’s credit card to pay for his private purchase in a luxurious shop in Prague.

Kriška said on that day that by using the card, no rules were violated and that he has already returned the sum.

Based on the document it obtained, Sme wrote that Kriška used the company’s credit card to pay €4,847.70 on the premises of Baldinini, a luxury shop with shoes and clothing in Prague, on October 4. The Italian brand belongs to an expensive fashion brand whose clothes were worn by Princess Diana and directors Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. The shop currently has many premises in Russia and eastern Europe, as reported by Sme.

Besides this, Kriška used the card to pay another €85.87 in an InterContinental hotel located in the street next to the one where Baldinini is located.

He does not want to reveal what he bought, with Tipos saying that “it was a private purchase”, as reported by the daily.

The company explained that Kriška used the card because he exceeded the limit on his own personal card. Since on the same day his daughter underwent the surgery in Prague, for which he paid with his private card, he exceeded his daily limit and because the shop assistant in Baldinini had already put the items to the counter, he had to use the company’s card, Tipos explained in the statement which starts with the words “for every parent his or her child is the top priority, and this was the case of Mr Kriška”, as reported by Sme.

Kiška claims he did not violate the internal rules of Tipos and returned the money to the firm. The company did not specify when he returned it, but Sme wrote it was on November 7, one month after the purchase.

“The payment is properly recorded,” the company wrote, as quoted by Sme. “Ladislav Kriška has proof.”

Kriška claims he did not use the card for any other private purchases. He told the press on November 12 that he is prepared to bear responsibility for the case.

“If the shareholder decides to sanction me, I am prepared to fully respect and understand it,” Kriška said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He stressed he does not usually use the credit card for private purposes, and that was the extraordinary situation.

Gabriel Šípoš of the ethics watchdog Transparency International Slovensko said he was surprised that the company’s manager used the money for such purposes.

“Maybe it is time to demand publishing of the records from company’s credit cards of state-run companies in form of transparent accounts,” Šípoš told Sme.

The private purchase is not Kriška’s first dubious payment. Back in May the company paid €49,000 excluding VAT to ad agency Jandl for the “manual of crisis communication”. The owner of one well-known PR agency told Sme that they also do similar manuals for much much lower sums that do not exceed €20,000.

Source: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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