Labour Minister Richter said to have accepted bribes

The claim comes from one of the accused in the Kuciak case.

Labour Minister Ján Richter comes to the cabinet meeting on September 11, 2019Labour Minister Ján Richter comes to the cabinet meeting on September 11, 2019 (Source: TASR)

Shortly after Zoltán Andruskó, one of the accused in the murder case of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, signed a plea bargain in late October, he was ready to provide testimony on the alleged corruption of two ministers.

Related articleMan charged with Kuciak murder knows his punishment Read more 

Private broadcaster TV Markíza has now obtained the details of this bargain, in which he mentions several Smer members, including Labour Minister Ján Richter, Transport Ministry's ex-state secretary Viktor Stromček, and Interior Minister Denisa Saková.

Andruskó described a scheme to obtain work and residence permits for foreigners, involving a recruitment agency based on the town of Kolárovo (Nitra Region).

“The accusations of a man charged with murder, who is obviously willing to lie and claim even obvious nonsense just to get a lower sentence, are absolutely false,” Stromček told TV Markíza.

Gatial's agency

Andruskó said that the owner of the agency had paid dozens of euros for fast-tracking the smooth issuance of permits. Bribes are said to have been given to Stromček or Richter.

Businessman Boris Gatial, who owns the agency recruiting Serbians and Ukrainians, has denied the claim. He and Andruskó are long-time friends and former business partners.

“Nothing like that happened,” Gatial said to TV Markíza. “Everything undergoes a standard procedure.”

Related articleGlváč discussed business and politics with Kočner in Threema Read more 

Moreover, Andruskó pointed out in the bargain to good terms between Saková and Gatial.

Is he making it up?

All those mentioned in Andruskó's testimony have described it as a fabricated story. Richter said he has never met Gatial.

“I feel quite concerned that I must respond to the words of a criminal who deceives people and has an interest in dragging the minister into an unpleasant situation,” he told TV Markíza.

Nor does Gatial understand why Andruskó has dragged him into these corruption-involving claims.

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) will now be checking Andruskó's statements.

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