Ex-minister in Court Denies Ordering Volzova’s Murder

Former economy minister Pavol R. sitting in front of a courtroom. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 24 (TASR) – The court hearing the trial of former economy minister and ex-director of TV Markiza Pavol R., charged with ordering the murder of his former business partner at the TV company Sylvia Volzova (who wasn’t killed, however) in the 1990s, was in session in Bratislava on Friday, with Pavol R. repeatedly denying the accusation.

“If things had happened like I’m accused of, Markiza would have lost its licence,” said Pavol R. in court.

However, he admitted to meeting then leading underworld figure Mikulas C. and his right-hand man Milos K. in Banska Bystrica in the 1990s. While Mikulas C. claims that Pavol R. wanted to order Volzova’s murder, Pavol R. stated in court that the meeting was actually about his concerns about his own security and his family, as he’d heard that someone wanted to see him “removed”.

Pavol R. also said in court that the meeting was arranged and also attended by businessman Jan Kovacik, now president of the Slovak Football Association (SFZ), who denies these claims.

The trial on Friday was adjourned to September 20, with Volzova also called to provide testimony.

Pavol R., who served as economy minister in Mikulas Dzurinda’s second government (2002-06), is being prosecuted outside of custody in the Volzova case. He’s the first ever government minister in Slovakia to be prosecuted for attempted murder.

Pavol R. is also facing charges of a multi-million promissory-note forgery on behalf of businessman Marian K., who’s charged with ordering the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak last year.