The police have now charged former minister of construction and regional development Igor Stefanov of nationalist SNS party of machination with EU funds in the now infamous “notice board” tender, while in power with Smer-SD and HZDS.
As the SNS party did not make it into parliament this time round, Stefanov is no longer shielded by the luxury of MP immunity, which saved him last year when the investigation pointed a finger at him, thanks to the refusal of the Attorney General’s Office to strip Stefanov of his immunity. He is therefore up on charges along with four others after a tender was announced solely on an internal notice board at the Ministry of Construction, pointing to crony practices.
Stefanov had stepped into the shoes of his party colleague Marian Janusek, who is also being charged, with accusations that the SNS party nominees were channeling money out of the ministry with the contract being awarded to the consortium of Avocat and Zamedia, which are both said to have close links with SNS party chairman Jan Slota.
In addition to not publishing the tender properly, the contract with the winning consortium was already prepared on a PC before the envelopes were opened, and the contract was set up with disadvantageous conditions. Stefanov and the other three accused could get up to 12 years and Janusek 20, if they are judged guilty, but there are many ifs and procedural errors that can easily be levered to dissolve cases like this, as has been done in the past. Innocent till proven guilty applies.