Following the arrest on Saturday evening of the head of the Slovak Deaflympics Committee (SDV), Jaromir Ruda, chief of police Jaroslav Spisiak has announced that Ruda is now facing charges of fraud and embezzlement.
Ruda was apprehended trying to cross the border to Hungary, and contradicting initial reports, police chief Spisiak says his arrest was not by chance and it was because he was trying to flee the country. Ruda is being investigated by the Anti-corruption Office over the cancelled Winter Deaflympic Games based on a petition for criminal charges.
The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) is now claiming that SDV’s documents demonstrating funding had been falsified, with inspector Tiffany Granfors saying they believe fraud had been committed.
The same applies also to the half-finished stadiums in Kezmarok and Levoce, for instance, where one contractor, Prva Popradska Developerska is owed over EUR 10 million for building work, which it did based on continual promises and postponing by Ruda and the SDV.
Just one day before the games were officially cancelled, Ruda informed the representative of Prva Poradska Developerska that the alleged sponsor of the event had pulled out at the last minute. Many believe this ‘sponsor’ never actually existed, as no name had ever been mentioned or proof given by Ruda. All he showed was a fake bank guarantee from the Bank of Columbia.
Ruda had already been held in jail by the police back in 2008 over allegations of a EUR 1.7 million embezzlement relating to the games, but did not appear at the Banska Bystrica court nine times on sick grounds. Surprising that everyone let things go this far, really.
Now the charges are for an EUR 11 million fraud, money that was gained but never used.