Justice Minister Halts Corruption Ruling on Party Colleague
Former Kosice councillor from the Smer-SD party, Frantisek Olejnik, who was convicted of corruption based on recordings of his phone calls involving a SKK 340,000 (over EUR 11,000) bribe, looks set to walk free after justice minister Tomas Borec, a Smer-SD party nominee, exercised his right of intervention, also contesting the case and Olejnik’s guilt.
Weekly Trend reported the news that Minister Borec had used his authority to prevent Olejnik from serving out a five-year prison sentence for agreeing to the bribe for the sale of two city properties in 2008. The police pounced on him when the sales of the properties went through the city council after months of phone tapping.
Thanks to Borec’s appeal, the ruling is now suspended and the case will head to the Supreme Court, which confirmed a five year sentence for party faithful Olejnik in April last year. Minister Borec denies any political sway on his decision to exercise a right that is used only in rare cases. He says the verdict was made without relevant evidence, but did not specify further.
Daily SME cites head of the Supreme Court Senate Juraj Kliment, who said “The audio recordings prove without any doubt that corruption was present in the voting”, noting also how Olejnik had sent a confirmation SMS to his alleged sponsor telling him about the outcome of the council vote.