Charges Pressed against Lipsic Partly Based on Motion Filed by Kocner

Kocner on charges pressed against Lipsic and Grendel (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 19 (TASR) – Charges pressed against former interior minister and until recently OLaNO-NOVA MP Daniel Lipsic and former chief of the Interior Ministry’s press department and current MP Gabor Grendel (OLaNO-NOVA) weren’t ordered by politicians, businessman Marian Kocner, who filed criminal complaints against the two, told a news conference on Wednesday.

“Nothing has been done based on anyone’s orders. The whole case originated a long time before all the things that Lipsic is currently referring to. The case originated in 2012,” said Kocner.

As a party to criminal proceedings, Kocner was entitled to look into the investigation file and make copies from the documents included in it. At a press conference he showed journalists a copy of the resolution on pressing charges against Grendel and Lipsic.

Both Lipsic and Grendel claimed on Tuesday (October 18) that they haven’t received any official notification of the charges. According to the copy of the resolution, an investigator of the National Crime Agency (NAKA) pressed charges against Lipsic and Grandel on October 13 in Banska Bystrica in connection with misusing a public official’s powers, as well as being accomplices in the crime of threatening business, banking, postal, telecommunications and tax secrets.

Moreover, Lipsic is facing a charge of damaging the rights of others and slander.

According to a NAKA investigator, the two committed the crimes by providing journalists with information and enabling them to make copies of documents that they had obtained in an unlawful manner. Lipsic and Grandel claimed at Tuesday’s news conference that the charges are designed to criminalise the Opposition.

The Police Corps Presidium refused to comment on the criminal proceedings with reference to ongoing activities.

The charge of misusing a public official’s powers reportedly dates back to the period just before Lipsic stepped down as interior minister in 2012 in light of the results of that year’s general election. The financial police were examining financial group Penta’s bank, Privatbanka, on a second occasion at that time. The bank filed a motion with the Prosecutor-General’s Office over suspicions of the misuse of a public official’s powers.

Shortly after this, Lipsic at a news conference hinted that the bank might be stripped of its licence. According to the statements he made at that time, the financial police’s second inspection also found a violation of the law on money laundering. The violation allegedly concerned transactions involving two bank accounts. Media at that time reported that the transactions concerned an account belonging to Kocner. The second transaction allegedly concerned a VAT refund paid to Kocner’s firm.