The Supreme Court takes ex-head of Tipos, Ján Barczi, into custody

The former head of the IT department, Miloš Prelec, will also be prosecuted while behind bars.

Tipos ex-head Ján Barczi (right) and Tipos ex-IT head Miloš Prelec (left) attend the court on December 5, 2019 in BratislavaTipos ex-head Ján Barczi (right) and Tipos ex-IT head Miloš Prelec (left) attend the court on December 5, 2019 in Bratislava (Source: Sme)

The former head of the national lottery company Tipos, Ján Barczi, and ex-head of the company’s IT department Miloš Prelec have been taken into custody following a decision by the Supreme Court on December 5.

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) arrested and charged the two with violating their duties while managing entrusted property and of money laundering on November 28. The day after, the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok ruled there were no grounds for taking Barczi and Prelec into custody.

The prosecutor appealed the decision.

Related articleCharges pressed against national lottery company representatives Read more 

“The deed which these men stand accused of, did indeed happen,” a judge of the Supreme Court said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The decision is now valid.

Barczi and Prelec were immediately transported to prisons in Bratislava and Leopoldov (Trnava Region).

A worry over influencing witnesses

The prosecutor from the Special Prosecutor’s Office demanded custody from the very beginning, due to the suspicion that the two could have manipulated the potential witnesses. In this regard, the Supreme Court agreed with the prosecutor’s opinion.

A number of witnesses are expected to be heard in the case of alleged money laundering through more than 140 inactive gambling accounts to private bank accounts, TASR wrote.

Related articleHead of state-run lottery company detained Read more 

Neither Barczi nor Prelec work for Tipos anymore. The prosecutor, however, expressed his worry that they both could continue their criminal activity and influence witnesses through an extensive network of contacts they created over time. He also claimed they were a flight risk as if they were found guilty, they would spend up to 15 years in prison.

However, the Supreme Court did not identify with these reasons.

The accused men and their lawyers consider the charges absurd and say they are innocent.

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