Updates: 12.01.2021 15:04
Bratislava – The Slovak Supreme Court today confirmed the same sentences of 19 years in prison for former Minister of Economy Pavol Ruska and businessman Marian Kočner in the case of counterfeiting. He thus rejected the appeal of the defense and the prosecutor against last year’s verdict of the court of first instance. The decision of the Supreme Court cannot be appealed.
Slovak courts have found Russia and Kočner guilty of forging four bills of exchange worth almost 69 million euros (1.8 billion crowns). One of the companies of the entrepreneur, who was illegally acquitted in another case last year of ordering the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, also demanded payment of bills from Markíza’s private television.
According to the indictment, Russia did not sign the bill in 2000, as stated on them, but only after 2013, when it was no longer the director or co-owner of the Marquis. Russia issued the bills as a natural person and at the same time signed them for the Marquis, who was to become the guarantor. Given that the former Minister of the Economy, as the main debtor of the bills of exchange, now appears in the public as poor, the obligation to repay the bills of exchange would remain with the Marquis.
The bills of exchange were not included in the accounts of Marquis from the Central European Media Enterprises group, which has since been controlled by the PPF investment group of the richest Czech, Petr Kellner.
The defense and the prosecutor appealed to the Supreme Court, who demanded the same sentence of 20 years in prison for the defendants. The prosecutor also failed to propose that the Supreme Court impose a penalty of confiscation on Kočner’s property. According to the Slovak media, the decision of the court of first instance is valid, which, in addition to imprisonment, also imposed a fine of 10,000 euros (262,000 crowns) on Kočner.
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