One of the members of the delegation which accompanied Albert II, Prince of Monaco, on his official visit to Slovakia is former Slovak businessman active in the armament industry, Miroslav Výboh, the Sme daily reported.
A close friend to Prime Minister Robert Fico, Výboh has been investigated in Austria in connection with the international corruption scandal Pandur that goes back to 2007. The case concerned a bribe amounting to three times €6 million for a purchase of armoured vehicles for the Czech Republic worth €1 billion.
Výboh has served as an honorary consul to Monaco since 2013. He was appointed to the post by Albert II, whom he accompanied during the meeting with Slovak President Andrej Kiska and Prime Minister Fico on May 2, Sme wrote.
The Austrian prosecutor’s office halted the investigation against Výboh in the beginning of last year, due to the lack of evidence. In the Czech Republic, however, lobbyist Marek Dalík, who was an aide of former Czech PM Mirek Topolánek, was sentenced for the same case, Sme wrote.
The Sme daily reminded that Výboh was Fico’s aide.
“Mr Výboh is my friend,” Fico said in July 2014 in connection with the Pandur vehicles, as quoted by Sme. “I’ve known him personally for 20 years.”
Dalík was not clear about Výboh’s role in the scandal during the court proceeding. Shortly before going to prison, however, he claimed that it was Výboh who came with the request for a bribe.
When explaining why he had been silent before, Dalík said that people involved in the scandal still have significant influence.
“Not to say that Robert Fico still serves as prime minister, while Mirek Topolánek left the post seven years ago,” Dalík said, as quoted by Sme. “The whole affair has and has had strong political connotations.”
In the past, Výboh’s company Willing won several lucrative state orders. For example, it contributed to mediated repairs of MiG-29 helicopters, while the army used to buy military material from it, Sme wrote.
Výboh is currently not active in Willing. He has become a developer instead.
The honorary consul is not an official ambassador, nor does he have diplomatic immunity. Often it is a non-paid function. The honorary consul is often picked by the country which dispatched him, Sme wrote.
3. May 2017 at 14:26 | Compiled by Spectator staff