OLaNO Suspects Government Office of Clientelism in Legal Services

Opposition OLaNO MP Veronika Remisova (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 30 (TASR) – The Opposition OLaNO party on Monday pointed out that the Government Office has once again signed a contract with an external lawyer close to Parliamentary vice-chairman Martin Glvac of Smer-SD, TASR learnt from OLaNO spokesman Matus Bystriansky on the same day.

The Opposition party accused the Government Office of clientelism in connection with the provision of legal services. “The Government Office has signed a contract worth more than €200,000, VAT included, for legal services with lawyer Michael Torokova, who had a joint company with Smer-SD senior official Martin Glvac for many years.

She also represented restituents in the case of a disputed transfer of land in Cierna Voda [near Bratislava] to a company close to Martin Glvac,” said Bystriansky, adding that the lawyer also cooperated with the Government Office in the past.

“Legal services often serve for withdrawing money from the state for no return, as we were able to see in the case of the exaggerated reward for lawyer [Radomir] Bzan, who was originally supposed to receive a remuneration worth €77 million [for winning a case in favour of the state]. It’s unacceptable that the Government Office signed this contract at a time when the Justice Ministry has proposed rules to tidy up the use of external legal services so that the Bzan case won’t be repeated in the future. In addition, the Justice Ministry requests that ministries should use external services only if really necessary, as all of the ministries, including the Government Office, have their own legal departments,” said Veronika Remisova of OLaNO.The Opposition MP further called on Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) to explain clearly why the Government Office doesn’t use its own legal capacities but has to sign contracts with external legal companies.