SaS Files Criminal Complaint over Energy Bills

The headquarters of the Prosecutor-General's Office (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 17 (TASR) – Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MPs Jozef Rajtar, Jana Kissova and Karol Galek submitted a criminal complaint with the Prosecutor-General’s Office on Friday over energy bills amidst the recent controversy surrounding higher energy charges as of January, TASR learnt later in the day.

“We’re filing a criminal complaint over two criminal offences. One of them is the abuse of power. This involves the prime minister’s [Robert Fico] interfering in the work of an independent authority, which is unacceptable and unthinkable. The second involves inciting the neglect of lawful duties, even inciting the neglect of lawful duties en masse,” said Rajtar outside the headquarters of the Prosecutor-General’s Office in Bratislava.

The first perceived offence, according to SaS, concerns Fico’s meddling in the pricing decisions of energy regulator URSO, despite the fact that the regulator is required to act in non-partisan and independent fashion.

“We’ve seen how Robert Fico at a press conference threw out a decision by the energy regulator and instituted something different from what URSO had decided by law. This was despite the fact that the Government had more than three months to draft background documents and analyses in accordance with the law and to argue against the decision that had been made [by URSO],” said Rajtar. Such actions are outside the remit of a prime minister, he said. “We, therefore, are of the opinion that he [Fico] committed the crime of abuse of the powers of a public official”.

SaS believes that the premier committed another offence when, announcing that energy prices would return to their 2016 levels, he tore up energy bills as an outward show that new bills were no longer applicable. By inciting the public to tear up bills that had been duly made out in line with a URSO decision in effect at that time, Fico committed a criminal offence, said Rajtar.