Smer’s big case is over

The Special Prosecutor decided that a Smer nominee did not commit any crime in the case concerning manipulations with procurements organised by the region.

Dušan KováčikDušan Kováčik (Source: Sme)

The prosecutor’s office has dropped charges against former head of the Nitra Self-Governing Region’s Office Peter Nagy who was accused of manipulating the public competitions together with ex-deputy governor of the region Vladislav Borík (Smer).

The case goes back to 2012. It caught the attention of media as it was the first bigger case in which police took action against people from the ruling Smer party. They could have faced a prison sentence of seven to 12 years. In the end, Borík received a conditional sentence, while Nagy, also a Smer nominee, will not be punished at all, the Sme daily reported.

Special Prosecutor Dušan Kováčik decided that Nagy did not commit crime when he followed the orders of the coalition council in the region and negotiated the order for an associated lawyer.

“After reading the whole investigation file the prosecutor decided there is no doubt that the actions of the accused were not illegal,” Kováčik wrote in the statement on halting the criminal prosecution, as quoted by Sme.

The police prosecuted Borík for manipulating the competition to find a company which would build a new administrative building for the region. The competition, over which Nagy was accused, concerned the selection of a lawyer who would represent the region in a legal dispute with OTP Banka, which was also manipulated, Police President Tibor Gašpar said back in 2012, as reported by Sme.

Nagy was also caught on a video camera the police placed in the regional office, showing him handing a list of three selected lawyers to head of the public procurement department Gabriela Šranková in March 2011. According to Sme reports, the lawyers participated in a fictive selection procedure that was to be won by lawyer Štefan Slováčik, on whom the region’s coalition council composed of Smer, the Movement of a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) agreed.

Slováčik is an acquaintance of former SDKÚ district branch’s head Ondrej Ščurka, known from the case of dubious rental of a building to the tax directorate in Košice which occurred during the Iveta Radičová government (2010-2012), Sme wrote.

The only person convicted in the public procurement machinations case is Šranková who completed the formal part of Slováčik’s victory. She was sentenced to three years conditionally last November. As she made an agreement on guilt and punishment with the prosecutor, her sentence was considerably lowered, Sme reported.

The ruling of the Specialised Criminal Court however states that Šranková only followed the orders of her boss, Nagy, the daily wrote.

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