UPDATED: 23. APR 2020, AT 22:37

Former head of the material reserves will be prosecuted while remaining in custody

Kajetán Kičura was detained during an operation linked to suspected machinations during a public procurement, even during the coronavirus crisis.

(Source: TASR/Police)

One month after Kajetán Kičura was dismissed from his position as head of the state material reserves and a criminal prosecution was launched due to the purchase of medical equipment signed under his watch, the police raided Kičura’s house.

Related story:The police launch prosecution in the purchase of medical equipment Read more 

The Denník N daily was first to inform about this on Tuesday morning.

The house search at Kičura’s house in central Slovakia is linked to suspected machinations in a public procurement.

The police and the prosecutor have accused Kičura of accepting bribes and legalising income from criminal activities.

The prosecutor has also proposed prosecuting him while in custody, which was later approved by both the Constitutional Court and the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok.

Prosecutor gave his consent for detention

The police also confirmed that they were conducting activities in the Žilina and Banská Bystrica regions. Besides the former head of the material reserves, the police raided the house of Kičura’s father, Rudolf Kičura.

Aktuality.sk reported that the reason for the intervention at Kičura’s father is that he has recently received €200,000 to his bank account.

The money sender was allegedly one of the companies that gained from the order of the material reserve for supplying health-protection equipment.

“It is an action with the name “Reserves” linked to corruption criminal activities in the environment of Administration of the State Material Reserves of the Slovak Republic,” said the spokesperson of police Michal Slivka.

Police did not comment on the details as the investigation is still ongoing. The prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor Office gave his consent to detain both father and son. PM Igor Matovič wrote on his Facebook profile that Kičura is his “first scalp”.

The prosecution started in late March. Kičura was interrogated earlier in the process.

Overpriced purchase

Related story:Matovič criticises COVID-19 tests. Head of the material reserves will be dismissed Read more 

The dismissal of Kičura was one of the first steps of Igor Matovič's new government, due to his unusual purchase of protection equipment necessary to fight the coronavirus.

His office purchased 200,000 speed-tests of lower quality for the novel coronavirus for €6 million, 15 times more than what China paid for them. Kičura explained that it was a counting mistake. His office allegedly thought that they had bought four million tests for such a price.

The media reported that at a time when material reserves are purchasing overpriced masks and respirators, Kičura’s 20-year-old son bought two flats in a luxurious part of the Old Town in Bratislava without a mortgage.

Courts approved the custody

Since Kičura is an active judge, the proposal to take him into custody, submitted by the prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, first needed to be approved by the Constitutional Court.

The court ruled at its April 22 session that they approve of Kičura being take into custody.

The Specialised Criminal Court decided to take Kičura into custody on April 23.

Connection with Kaliňák

Kičura is prosecuted together with his 83-year-old father Rudolf Kičura and a Dubnica nad Váhom businessman Miroslav Solava. Bribery charges against Solava might be linked to some suspicious transaction that the police found while investigating Kičura, the Sme daily wrote.

State Material Reserves closed several contracts with Solava in the recent years. In 2017, the reserves sold land for €74,000 to his MIDA company.

Solava is the authorised representative of the ZVS Technology company, but he also features in many other companies. In the past he served as the general director and board chair of the semi-state-controlled armament company ZVS Holding. Back then he was photographed with Smer leader Robert Fico and former interior minister for Smer, Robert Kaliňák, during the 70th anniversary of the army industry in Slovakia, for example, Sme wrote.

Kaliňák now owns the Liwa Arms Slovakia company, seated in the building of ZVS Holding, Sme noted.

"I have heard the name but I do not know him," Kaliňák told Sme about Solava.

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