Bratislava, February 10 (TASR) – OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, called on Prime Minister Robert Fico to undergo a polygraph test with him, saying that if Fico finds the courage to do so, Matovic will give him the 121 million Slovak crowns (about €4 million) that Fico claims he embezzled from his own company.
Matovic promised to answer any of Fico’s questions and said that he would ask him questions as well.
Matovic also stated that the sale of a company called ‘Igor Matovic-regionPRESS’ in 2008 was properly taxed at more than 15 million Slovak crowns. He showed a copy of his tax declaration.
In addition, Matovic said that he’s filing a criminal complaint against Pavol Vandak, to whom Matovic sold the company, in response to false allegations.
Matovic denied that he embezzled from his own company and commented on the accusation that he sent the money to his own account. “Fico apparently doesn’t know that it’s logical to sell one’s firm and transfer the money to one’s own account. To legally sell one’s property without debts, to tax income, is this embezzlement? Fico has been giving content to the word ’embezzlement’ for eight years. Embezzlement is stealing from the state at the public’s expense, overpriced purchases, not the sale of one’s own company and subsequent taxation of income. Robert Fico is unable to earn money legally, so he makes a fraud out of everything legal,” said Matovic.
Matovic denied that Vandak was a so-called ‘white horse’ (strawman) in reality. Matovic said that Vandak carried out a service related to the exaction of receivables. “I also deny that I destroyed accounts books. I handed the complete agenda to Vandak,” said Matovic.
According to Matovic, Vandak took over the whole agenda. “After about three days, when Vandak said that he didn’t have room to store them, I took the accounts for 1997-2001. There was no obligation to preserve those data, and the agenda for 2003 and 2005-08 were kept in a Mercedes Vito van. I stored the accounts properly, and for several years this vehicle was parked at my grandmother’s house in the village of Borova [Trnava region]. Everyone who visited that house over those years was a witness. I still have the accounts at my grandmother’s house,” said Matovic, asking whether someone would keep accounts in a public space if he wanted to engage in fraud. The remaining two years, 2002 and 2004, were taken care of by Vandak.
Matovic described Vandak’s testimony to the police over the weekend as a fairytale. “Smer-SD has overdone it. If there were fewer details in the testimony, it would be more authentic and more realistic. It’s richness confirms to me that it was created on Sumracna Street [the location of Smer-SD’s HQ – ed. note]. What is more, Vandak contradicts himself in the testimony. In one part he says that he had no idea about the company’s receivables. Seven lines below it’s written that he did have knowledge of the receivables. Such is the plausibility of the whole testimony, so I’m filing a criminal complaint,” said Matovic.
Matovic also denied Vandak’s claim that Matovic promised him a lifetime monthly payment of €1,500 for his cooperation. “I think that he will have such money after this testimony, but not from me, and it will be higher. If someone had promised him €1,500 a month, wouldn’t he have missed eight years of this money? Over eight years it’s four million Slovak crowns [around €144,000]. And only now he remembers that someone promised him that?” remarked Matovic.
Matovic is convinced that Fico’s attack on him isn’t only in response to his opposing rhetoric. “What happened is clear evidence for all honest people to whom he vowed that he would stand up to evil,” said Matovic.
The police have confirmed that they are looking into information that Fico published about Matovic’s business.
Fico said at a briefing on Friday (February 5) that Matovic is a tax fraud who uses white horses to cover up his illegal activities. According to Fico, in order for Matovic to dodge a tax audit, he transferred Igor Matovic-regionPRESS to a white horse, destroyed accounts for the whole history of the company and laundered the €121 million. Fico said that Vandak worked for Matovic as a contractor and that Matovic opted out of the contract two months after the transfer of the company.