The infamous emissions scandal involving the purpose-made garage company Interblue Group, which allegedly cashed in some EUR 47 million as the mediator of Slovakia’s CO2 emission sale, has been shelved for good, after Attorney General Jaromir Ciznar closed the case.
The dubious sale of Slovakia’s emissions in 2008 to the company, which was set up with just a garage address in the United States, happened under the first government of current Prime Minister Robert Fico (2006-2010), when his SMER-SD party were in coalition with the HZDS party led by Vladimir Meciar and the Slovak nationalists of the SNS party headed by the controversial Jan Slota.
The scandal broke out in 2009 and recently grabbed the attention of the media again after Swiss authorities sent information about their own investigation into the scandal, which saw Slovakia’s CO2 emission quotas sold to the company for EUR 5.05 per tonne, being later sold on to Japan at EUR 8.20, while the Czechs managed to get EUR 10 for theirs and Hungary EUR 12, daily SME writes today. The Swiss dossier lists all the people and companies that had anything to do with the sale, but the police and the Attorney General claim nothing was amiss.
U.S. garage-based company Interblue Group was the main channel for receiving the whopping commission, which was then redistributed through ten other companies, with the final destination of the money still very much an unknown. The Swiss list of names was eventually revealed after pressure from the media. Prime Minister Robert Fico even faced a symbolic no-confidence motion recently over the affair and for not disclosing the list.
Attorney General Ciznar was nominated to the post by the Smer-SD party in July last year, after two and a half years of the government and President Ivan Gasparovic refusing to appoint the duly elected Jozef Centes to the post. The president had no qualms with Ciznar’s appointment and even didn’t inform the media of the ceremony.
It was the Ministry of Environment under the remit of the SNS party at the time that gave the green light to the transaction. SME daily reports that the case was linked to a subsequent money-laundering case, which now also looks set to be closed as the funds gained are no longer classed as illegal.