Left Menu
Development News Edition

Slovak court keeps billionaire in custody over graft case

Hascak, a founding partner of Czech-Slovak Penta Investments, a private-equity group with assets in central Europe valued at 11.3 billion euros in 2019, is charged with money-laundering and other crimes, the court said. "The reason for custody is a concern of tampering with witnesses," said Katarina Kudjakova, spokeswoman for the special criminal court in an emailed statement.

Reuters | Prague | Updated: 05-12-2020 02:37 IST | Created: 05-12-2020 02:34 IST
Slovak court keeps billionaire in custody over graft case
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

A Slovak court on Friday ordered Slovakia's second-richest man, Jaroslav Hascak, to remain in police custody following his arrest on Tuesday, the most high-profile detention since an anti-graft party took power this year. Hascak, a founding partner of Czech-Slovak Penta Investments, a private-equity group with assets in central Europe valued at 11.3 billion euros in 2019, is charged with money-laundering and other crimes, the court said.

"The reason for custody is a concern of tampering with witnesses," said Katarina Kudjakova, spokeswoman for the special criminal court in an emailed statement. Hascak denies wrongdoing and his lawyers said in an emailed statement on Thursday custody was unfounded. The lawyers have appealed against the ruling, local media reported.

His detention, with media showing videos of Hascak being escorted out of his office, comes following the February election of Prime Minister Igor Matovic, who now leads a coalition government promising to stamp out graft. Hascak's case stems from wiretaps from 2005 in which he and other businessmen allegedly discussed bribes with government officials.

Penta has said Hascak, whose net worth Forbes puts at $1.2 billion, would take all legal steps to clear himself. The group operated in accordance with the law, Penta said. Hascak has resigned as managing partner. Prague-based Penta, founded in the 1990s, has investments in real estate, healthcare, media and the financial sector. Its companies employ 46,000 people and the group earned a profit of 265 million euros in 2019 on revenue of 6.9 billion euros.

The arrest is the latest high-profile detention in the country of 5.5 million. A former police chief was also arrested this week. The murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak shook Slovakia in 2018, sparking rising anger over perceived public corruption and prompting the largest street demonstrations since communism fell in 1989.

Former prime minister Robert Fico stepped down amid the protests and his political party Smer lost elections this year to Matovic.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....

Videos

Latest News

Federal report says pandemic hit seafood industry hard

The coronavirus pandemic has taken away about a third of the commercial fishing industrys revenue, according to a federal report released on Friday.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said revenues from catch brought to the ...

U.S. to carry out 13th and final execution under Trump administration

The U.S. government intends to carry out the 13th and final execution under President Donald Trumps administration on Friday evening, just five days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office with a promise to try to end the death penalt...

Abbas decrees first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree Friday, setting parliamentary and presidential elections for later this year in what would be the first vote of its kind since 2006, when the Islamic militant group Hamas won a landslide v...

FACTBOX-Security forces and shutdowns in Washington D.C. for the Biden inauguration

The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday will take place under extraordinary security against threats from armed far-right groups after the Jan. 6 storming of Congress by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump. More...

Give Feedback