Education minister will not be punished

Investigators have not found any law violations in two loan funds.

Education Minister Peter PlavčanEducation Minister Peter Plavčan (Source: SITA)

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) will not investigate the controversial loans linked to current Education Minister Peter Plavčan.

The case goes back to 2011 and concerns the loans from the Student Credit Fund (ŠPF) and Credit Fund for New Teachers (PFZP) amounting to €5.5 million to investment company Slavia Capital. While Plavčan at the time sat on the controlling bodies of both funds, his wife Viera was for working for Slavia Capital. The money, however, could have been used only on fund administration and loans for students, Tomáš Kamenec of Dedák & Partners law firm told the Sme daily back in April.

The investigator turned down the complaint in mid-December 2016, saying the suspicion of violating duties when administering someone else’s property has not been proved. Thus, there was no reason to launch a criminal proceeding.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office has accepted the decision, Sme wrote.

Read also:Education minister investigated, again Read more 

One of the reasons for turning down the complaint may be the fact that Plavčan is a member of the current government, said non-affiliated MP Miroslav Beblavý, who has pointed to several law violations in the loan funds.

“While Robert Fico is prime minister and Robert Kaliňák interior minister, I will not submit any criminal complaint against politicians of this government as it is obvious they cannot be investigated,” Beblavý said, as quoted by Sme.

Besides the controversial loan, the fund faced problems also for payments on health treatment of its 10 employees and their families. At the time, ŠPF closed a deal with company Pro Vitae, according to which every employee was to receive an extra annual benefit in non-standard care for €875. The benefit was criticised by ethics watchdog Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) already in 2011.

NAKA has moved the case to the district police corps directorate in Bratislava, explaining that due to the potential damage caused, it has no reason to deal with it, as reported by Sme.

Plavčan has said several times that the investigation does not concern him. He defended the loan for Slavia Capital even after taking up the ministerial funds, claiming that thanks to it the fund had good economic results.

Plavčan worked for ŠPF and PFZP for years and since 1997 has served as head of their supervisory or managing boards. He has received more than €38,000 in bonuses. He returned the money, however, after public criticism, Sme wrote.

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