People close to SNS benefited from emission scandal, files show

THE EMISSION scandal, which shook the first Robert Fico government, was controlled from top positions at the Environment Ministry, at the time led by nominees of the Slovak National Party (SNS). 

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

This stems from investigation documents the Sme daily recently obtained.

They also track the channels through which the money from the emission sale travelled and where it ended up.

“She could not make decisions on her own,” the police said about the steps of Jana Lütken, then authorised representative of the Interblue Group company, which bought the state's excess carbon dioxide emission quotas, as quoted by Sme.

Interblue Group, a small, unknown firm then operating out of a US garage, bought the quotas in 2008, for €5.05 per tonne, a price significantly lower than the market value. It subsequently sold the emission quotas to Japan, making €47 million from the transaction. The scandal resulted in dismissal of the SNS ministers and, finally, the party losing control of the ministry.

Read also:FPA files motions in emission case Read more 

The criminal prosecution over abusing the powers of a public representative and violating rules when administering someone else’s property was stopped in September 2013, and in December 2013 the prosecutor of the special department of the General Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the Environment Ministry’s complaint. In the beginning of 2014, however, General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár re-opened the case. The prosecutor assigned by the General Prosecutor’s Office completed the investigation on June 2, 2014.

Moreover, in April 2014 the Fair-Play Alliance (FPA) ethics watchdog presented documents from the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office, which describe the dubious transfer of $3.8 million to the bank account of an influential Environment Ministry employee back in August 2009.

Though the documents obtained by the FPA had the official’s name blacked out, and referred to him or her as “a secretary”, Zuzana Wienk of the FPA said that the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office documented the identity of the person, as well as the bank accounts and transfers on the accounts. They sent all the information to Slovakia in January 2012.

Police documents reveal that the money ended up in companies close to SNS. It was used for financing the Diamond DA42 Twin Star plane, which was at the time piloted by former SNS chair Ján Slota, Sme wrote.

Despite the revelations, nobody has been charged in the case, with the police claiming that the officers did not commit any crime during the sale. Moreover, they decided that even the transfers of commissions via tax havens were not a crime, the daily reported.

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