National party SNS MP Igor Stefanov is off the hook for now over accusations into his involvement with the notorious notice-board tender, as the Attorney General’s office has returned the case due to shortcomings.
Stefanov was the construction minister under the former government, and was allegedly involved in the dubious tender of the Ministry of Construction for legal and marketing services in 2008, which was promoted using just a notice board at the ministry.
Interior minister Daniel Lipsic called for Stefanov to be stripped of his immunity, but the decision has been delayed extensively and now none will probably only be taken after a new Attorney General is voted in.
Interim AG, Ladislav Tichy, returned the case to the Special Prosecutor’s Office for further examination, because certain facts had not been substantiated. Spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, Jana Tokolyova, said the case was extensive with over 2,000 pages and complex from a legislative perspective.
Tokolyova also spoke out about how politicians are interfering with the independence of the office with their statements and demands for a speedy conclusion, dragging the office into their political squabbling before the vote for a new Attorney General.
Acting AG Tichy said there was not enough evidence in the file for him to be able to file a petition to parliament to strip Stefanov of his immunity.
Even though everything points to the contrary, Stefanov’s SNS party is claiming that his alleged involvement in the notice-board scandal has been contrived by interior minister Lipsic and bloated up in the media without any proof.
The accused SNS MPs Igor Stefanov and Marian Janusek are both now even trying to sue Lipsic for personal damages, and they have the full backing of the SNS party. They want a public apology from Lipsic at least.
Coalition MPs and analysts approached by TASR newswire believe that Tichy took the decision in order to buy Stefanov time until a new Attorney General is voted in, with Martin Poliacik of liberal SaS party saying he was sad that political interests had won once again, sending out a back signal to the people that politicians could do as they pleased.