He did so after he found out that prosecutor Bystrík Palovič junior who investigated Rajtár’s parliamentary assistant Filip Rybanič owns a flat in the complex developed by businessman Ladislav Bašternák on Tupého Street in Bratislava.
Prosecutor Bystrík Palovič dealt with the leak of information on payments from the company of Ladislav Bašternák to the account of Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, as well as his successor, Vladimír Pravda, who both own flats in a building developed by Bašternák. They lead the prosecution against Filip Rybanič, an employee of the Tatrabanka bank and simultaneously assistant of opposition MP Rajtár who revealed to the public account transfers made by Kaliňák and Bašternák. Moreover, the building is situated close to where the businessman lives.
The case pertains to the excessive VAT refunds granted to businessman Ladislav Bašternák’s firm BL-202 which bought and sold seven apartments in the Five Star Residence complex built by tycoon Marián Kočner. Bašternák reportedly bought them for €12 million. The company then applied for a VAT refund of €2 million and the state paid it out, despite suspicions that the transaction was fictitious. The criminal office of the Financial Administration notified the police about the case, but the complaint was refused in 2014. Moreover, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák received money to his account from Bašternák’s company; and Prime Minister Robert Fico rents a flat from Bašternák in the Bonaparte housing complex. “The state of justice looks poor in Slovakia,” Rajtár told the SITA newswire on July 21. “The prosecutor’s office is full of people who know exactly what they are doing – and for whom they work.” He added that case of Bystrík Palovič Jr is, according to him, another blatant example of how the system functions and how people serve – also in this case – Kaliňák directly.
The SaS MP also pointed out that Bystrík Palovič Senior, who also serves as a prosecutor, owns a studio in Florida and has had held ownership rights to two flats built and originally owned by Ladislav Bašternák. His son, too, owns a studio in Florida, as well as another flat in Bratislava – within a strange scheme that might have helped to earn VAT four times on the same real estate. “This flat changed hands of 12 companies before ending with Bystrík Palovič Jr," he explained. Bystrík’s brother Rastislav Palovič is a lawyer and works in a legal agency residing in the Bonaparte complex, and thus also rents space from Bašternák. Rajtár told media that the companies often have the same, circulating owners, legal representatives or addresses. Thus, they seem to be interconnected firms with the same structure.
“I filed the criminal complaint so that we know precisely what happened there,” SaS MP said, as quoted by SITA. He pointed out that he put together the criminal complaint from publicly available information. but some company information is missing for the critical years. Thus, police can check the transfer and purchase contracts, the payments – whether the amounts stated in purchase contracts were really paid – but also excessive VAT deductions and what VAT was ultimately paid.
Bystrík Plaovič Junior did not state the Florida flat in his property statement, and so there is suspicion he did not acquired it in a legal way, opposition OĽaNO-NOVA MP Daniel Lipšic said for SITA. He added that according to him, the prosecutor’s office, police President Tibor Gašpar and the National Criminal Agency are all connected. “Also the lawyer of Tatrabanka – where Rybanič learned about account transfers of Bašternák and Kaliňák – who prepared the criminal complaint (against Rybanič) knew precisely whom Gašpar will select as overseeing prosecutor. Thus, it must have been arranged in advance, together with the bank management, starting with the interior minister,” Rajtár summed up.