THE SPECIALISED Criminal Court in Pezinok found businessmen of Russian origin Sergei and Alexander Salmanov guilty of corruption and sentenced them to seven and six years, respectively, in minimum-security prison. It did not accept the proposal of prosecutor to fine them €50,000, the SITA newswire reported.
The rulings are not yet valid as both men have appealed.
The pair were accused of bribing Mária Z., former head of the tax office in Šamorín (Trnava Region) back in 2010 in return for her help with excessive VAT deductions for their firm. They promised her 10 percent of the deductions. Though her reward was calculated to €290,000, she received €40,000 in cash, as reported by SITA.
Mária Z., who was a witness in the case, confirmed this at the court. She was also asked to inform the entrepreneurs about deductions, not to allow tax inspections of these decisions or that she will inform the businessmen about planned inspections. The court did not deal with the question whether the two men received the deductions based on real or falsified documents.
The panel did not accept as a recording from Sergei Salmanov’s office which was delivered to the police by former Salmanov partner Ľubomír S. On the recording both Sergei and Alexander Salmanov discuss with Mária Z. how she will receive the provision. According to the court, the video was made illegally, as reported by SITA.
Both entrepreneurs heard the verdict in person. They were transported to the proceeding from Leopoldov where they are in the custody. Though the courts accepted their request to release them on November 11, the prosecutor has appealed it and the Supreme Court has not issued any decision yet, SITA wrote.
The Sme daily wrote in its previous reports that Mária Z., a former Smer member, said she was hired as the head of Šamorín’s tax office after giving €33,000 in an envelope as a sponsorship gift to the head of Smer’s branch in Dunajská Streda, Štefan Radics. According to her, Sergei Salmanov gave her the money. This happened in March 2010, at the end of the term of the first Robert Fico government. In the 2012 parliamentary elections Radics was 138th on Smer’s slate.
The prosecutor said Radics may yet face charges, Sme wrote in its December 4 issue.
Source: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Dec 2014 at 10:00