NAKA investigator to charge former environment ministers

An investigator of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) wants to press charges against two former environment ministers László Miklós (Party of Hungarian Community-SMK) and Jaroslav Izák (Slovak National Party-SNS).

Ex-minister Jaroslav IzákEx-minister Jaroslav Izák (Source: Sme)

The reason is their refusal to allow the harvest of timber from the most strictly protected High Tatra valleys Tichá and Kôprová in the wake of the 2004 wind calamity that destroyed 126 million square metres of the woods, Plus 7 Dní weekly reports in its latest issue.

“A file containing the proposal to press charges has been delivered to the Special Prosecutor’s Office,” General Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Jana Tökölyová told the weekly. “After perusing the material, a prosecutor on duty will decide the next course of action.”

Both former ministers have faced prosecution since 2012 when charges of endangering and damaging the environment were brought against them. According to the file, the lack of action on part of the former ministers caused the subsequent overpopulation of the bark beetle that ravaged the High Tatra forests. Foresters claim, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that had the timber been harvested, the damages would not have been so extensive and the timber could have found a further use.

If found guilty, Miklós and Izák could face eight years in jail.

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