“The Specialised Criminal Court rejected the requests of both convicted persons to have their terms of imprisonment delayed, and ordered that they should commence the terms of imprisonment on September 21, 2015,” the TASR newswire was told by Specialised Criminal Court spokesperson Katarína Kudjaková on September 2. “They’ve also been ordered to pay their fines, but can pay them in ten installments of €1,500 each.”
A three-member Supreme Court panel chaired by Milan Karabín (who died earlier this week while on holiday in Turkey), overruled in June the original, milder verdict of the Specialised Criminal Court from last year, according to which the two were given suspended sentences and fines amounting to €10,000 each.
“This concerned the crime of indirect corruption by serving as accomplices,” panel chairman concluded. “It took place because the perpetrators used their influence on [then] prime minister Radičová. It was pointless to attempt to persuade the court that it was legal: it was not a reward, but a bribe. This was a disgusting display of corruption. The defendants didn’t regret anything, only that the matter was discovered.”
Novotný and Liška were charged with receiving a bribe of €30,000 from businessman Peter Kňazík via mediator Pavol Prečúch in July 2011 in exchange for arranging a subsidy of €300,000 from the Government Office for completing the reconstruction of the aforementioned biathlon course, which had been halted at the time. They allegedly also promised to arrange a subsidy from the Education Ministry. The renovation work eventually received a total of €1.6 million from the prime minister’s financial reserve and the Education Ministry. The police detained Liška in late July 2011 when he collected marked banknotes with a value amounting to €30,000.
3. Sep 2015 at 7:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff