President Andrej Kiska will have to pay a fine equaling his three monthly salaries due to the method by which he financed his presidential campaign. The parliamentary conflict of interests committee decided on the sanction at its May 14 closed session.
At the same time, the committee closed a proceeding on whether or not Kiska accepted a financial gift from his KTAG company, the TASR newswire reported.
The president considers the decision to sanction him a political decision.
“President Andrej Kiska has never had any obligation towards KTAG, which is the information that can be found in the financial statements register,” said President's spokesperson Roman Krpelan, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
The president can still turn to the Constitutional Court.
The committee claims that Kiska had an obligation towards KTAG.
"He was fined for failing to mention [in his 2013 property disclosure] an obligation that, according to the majority of the committee, originated when KTAG made a campaign in 2013 instead of him," said Róbert Puci (Smer), deputy chair of the committee, as quoted by TASR. The matter is closed now, he added.
The fine was supported by all coalition MPs, except for Peter Kresák (Most-Híd). On the other hand, it was supported by Ján Kecskés, MP for the far-right People's Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), Ondrej Dostál of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) stated on Facebook.
The committee's chair, Vladimír Sloboda of SaS, disagreed with the fine. Even if the president benefited from KTAG's action, the committee did not discuss whether the obligation, which Kiska should have mentioned in his property disclosure, was automatically generated, Sloboda said, as reported by TASR.
He also considers it a needless procrastination of the case, since the committee had certain information from the very beginning.
Sloboda also reminded of the fact that the president can turn to the Constitutional Court, TASR wrote.
As for the financial gift, the committee was informed by the Financial Administration that this income cannot be considered a taxable income. As a result, they decided to end the proceeding in this matter, Puci said.
How was the president's campaign financed?
Prior to the presidential campaign in 2014, Kiska used his own money and his firm KTAG to manage his presidential campaign. He did so without a campaign management services contract, but the management of campaigns had not been the firm's business activity prior to 2013 when Kiska decided to run for president.
In addition, KTAG did not issue an invoice between 2013 and 2014 to Kiska for this election campaign since he had deposited his money in the firm as interest-free loans, not as payments for the services, as reported by the Sme daily in early March.
Despite this, the company claimed a tax deduction of more than €136,000 from the tax base. However, KTAG has paid this money back to the state.
14. May 2019 at 21:49 | Compiled by Spectator staff