Former Slovak ministers jailed for multi-million fraud

18 Oct 2017 / 21:43 H.

BRATISLAVA: Two former Slovak ministers were handed lengthy prison terms for fraud on Wednesday after they used only a government bulletin board to announce a public tender worth €120 million (RM506.82 million), a court official said.
Marian Janusek and Igor Stefanov, then construction ministers from the hard-right Slovak National Party (SNS), were respectively sentenced to 12 and nine years behind bars in a case that had long raised eyebrows.
In 2007 they posted the lucrative tender for legal and advertising services for the construction ministry on one of its bulletin boards, drastically limiting the number of potential bidders.
A consortium of companies linked to then-SNS party leader Jan Slota won the tender as sole bidder.
The presiding judge said on Wednesday that the men "acted contrary to the principle of transparency" by failing to offer put the contract out to tender in a way that gave access to multiple bidders.
Janusek and Stepanov are the highest-ever Slovak government officials to face prison, though both men plan to appeal.
"In my opinion, the whole case is about a minister being imprisoned," Janusek told journalists.
"They want to show that the Slovak Republic is fighting corruption and for transparency," he added.
Stefanov was a senior ministry official when the tender was announced and became minister after Janusek was sacked by then-prime minister Robert Fico.
The Specialised Criminal Court also ruled both of the former ministers must pay a €30,000 fine. — AFP

thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks