Businessman Bašternák explains origin of property

The businessman involved in scandals concerning potential VAT fraud, who has close ties to top Slovak politicians, is being checked by the Prosecutor’s Office.

People protested at the Smer party congress December 10, 2016, holding a banner with businessman Ladislav Bašternák and Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák. People protested at the Smer party congress December 10, 2016, holding a banner with businessman Ladislav Bašternák and Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák. (Source: SITA)

Ladislav Bašternák has started explaining the origin of his wealth, worth several millions of euros, the Sme daily wrote. On January 19, the documents which should free him from charges of fraud and hiding the origin of his income were delivered to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Bašternák is trying to avoid the charges according to the Act on Proving the Origin of Property. If his explanation was insufficient or not trustworthy, however, he could even lose the money from suspicious income.

The Bratislava I District Prosecutor’s Office confirmed for Sme it has received the documents but added it is unable to evaluate their contents so far. After the prosecutors have studied the contents of the documents, they will consider further steps.

Back in October 2016, financial police started investigating the origin of Bašternák’s wealth. It found a difference bigger than €607,000 between his official income and the true amount of his property, a serious enough condition to launch proceedings.

Apart from other claims, Bašternák also insisted he paid the purchase price of €12 million in cash during the suspicious transaction involving seven flats, back in 2012. He allegedly paid it in three parts.

If Bašternák comes before the court in connection with the law, it would be the first such case in Slovakia. Sme recently pointed out that the law has loopholes that enable bypassing it. Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská has announced planned changes in the due legislation.

Currently, Bašternák is also being investigated for tax fraud suspicions.

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