Penta financial group has decided to file a lawsuit against interior minister Daniel Lipsic for his recent attack on the groups’ bank Privatbanka, in which he indicated the possibility that the bank was being used for money laundering.
Penta argues that the statements of the interior minister were a gross infringement of the rights of the bank and so also its shareholders. At a press conference on Wednesday Lipsic claimed that Privatbanka had possibly breached the law on money laundering in some 248 transactions in the 2009-2010 period involving some EUR 16.5 million.
Privatbanka had been subjected to an audit by the Financial Police and the National Bank of Slovakia last year, but the outcome of the audit makes no mention of phrases like “money laundering”, “mafia” or “underworld” for example, whereas Lipsic used these words to refer to the findings. Penta is therefore considering suing the interior minister for libel. The bank was fined for its breaches in November, with it claiming that there were only formal errors in about five cases, only one of which was indicated by the secret service as dubious.