Police Take Basternak’s Computer; Then Search Accountant’s Home

The residential building in which Basternak's flat is located (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 29 (TASR) – A police raid at a residential complex on Tupeho Street in Bratislava, where several firms of businessman Ladislav Basternak are based, has ended, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

The police were at the site for four hours. They were reported as seizing the accounts records of Basternak’s firms. According to information provided to TASR, they carried a personal computer away from the building and went on to search the home of Basternak’s accountant.

Special Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Jana Tokolyova confirmed that the police seized items related to verifying publicised information on the Basternak tax fraud case.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) said that the whole raid appears to be a bid to create a fake alibi for Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) before the attempt to dismiss him due to take place in Parliament on Thursday.

SaS said that the raid will allow Kalinak to claim that the Basternak tax fraud case is being properly investigated. “But it’s never been properly investigated. If there ever were any compromising documents about Basternak’s fraud, they certainly won’t be found at the inspected premises. Why shouldn’t we believe that Basternak was informed about the raid by Kalinak in advance?” posited SaS MP Jozef Rajtar.

SaS thinks that Kalinak should resign over his alleged involvement in the Basternak case and supposed obstructions placed in front of its proper investigation. The Opposition also points to the fact that Prime Minister Robert Fico lives in a flat rented from Basternak in the Bonaparte residential complex, which could have been built thanks to excessive and illegitimate tax returns.

Rajtar said that Kalinak doesn’t have an ounce of self-reflection and dignity given that he still hasn’t resigned. “This scandal is undermining the legal basis of our state,” he stressed.

The investigation into this case was reopened recently. The Opposition claimed that the police initially swept the whole matter under the carpet, and it’s also demanding the dismissal ofInterior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) over his alleged involvement in the case.

The case revolves around a Bratislava apartment complex called Five Star Residence, which was built by a company owned by entrepreneur Marian Kocner. Basternak’s firm allegedly purchased seven flats for €12 million and subsequently applied for and received an excessive VAT tax allowance worth €2 million.