29. 06. 2018 14:58
Controversial entrepreneur Marian Kočner will go into pre-trial custody, while former private TV Markíza director Pavol Rusko remains a free man. The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic took this decision on Thursday, when it partly upheld the prosecutor's complaint against Saturday's verdict by the Specialized Criminal Court whose judge decided that Kočner would be prosecuted while not in custody. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court's decision is valid and final.
Kočner will be prosecuted in custody over counterfeiting promissory notes against the privately-owned TV Markíza worth almost €70 million. The court's decision is not yet valid, as he plans to appeal against it.
Prosecutor Ján Šanta is happy with the court's decision. "One defendant is in custody and the other has his rights restricted," he added, pointing out that the former private TV Markíza general director and co-owner Rusko has to wear an electronic ankle bracelet due to another case in which he faces charges of ordering the murder of his erstwhile TV Markíza co-owner Sylvia Volzová.
Markíza claims that the promissory notes appeared out of the blue 16 years after they were allegedly created, while they had not featured before in the accounts of either the television company or Kočner's firms. Moreover, Rusko provided a written statement in 2000 that Markíza had no liabilities vis-a-vis Kočner. Prosecutor Ján Šanta pointed out that Kočner and Rusko were facing criminal prosecutions in four and three cases, respectively, and are suspected of extraordinarily serious economic criminal activities. Besides this, numerous journalists complained about Kočner's threats towards them, including murdered Ján Kuciak, who was killed in February 2018, less than six months after receiving threats from this controversial entrepreneur.