No dodgy deal in SDKU party says prosecutor
The Special Prosecutor responsible for investigating alleged illegal financing and money laundering in the SDKU party, Jan Santa, has closed the case, concluding that no inconsistencies were found.
Santa stated that the party had duly documented the receipt and repayment of the borrowed money in question, and that it had been included in the party’s audited accounts and also in its Annual Report for the National Council and the National Bank. The 1,500 case file confirms this, said Santa.
There were suspicions surrounding the privatisation sale of Hotel Forum in Bratislava for EUR 14.11 million (the price set by licensed appraisal), but no discrepancies were discovered and the whole amount was duly paid by the buyer.
The allegations were raised by former PM and head of Smer-SD party Robert Fico, who claimed that in the privatisation of the hotel members of the SDKU party had received a ‘commission’ from the sale. Fico made the allegations in the run-up to the general election last year.
SDKU spokesman Michal Lukac denied that the party had ever been involved in such money-laundering practices and that the whole affair was an attempt to dirty the party’s name before the elections. In the wake of the allegations, SDKU party head Mikulas Dzurinda stood down as the party’s candidate for the post of Prime Minister, being replaced by current PM Iveta Radicova.
Fico’s Smer-SD party was also subject to an investigation into alleged illegal parallel financing based on a recording released by daily SME, which was said to contain Fico’s voice making incriminating statements. This case was also discontinued last year due to a lack of evidence.