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ECB banker Kazimir accused of bribery | Enterprise and Financial system Information

Peter Kazimir, who heads Slovakia’s central financial institution, has stated the claims towards him are unsubstantiated.

Peter Kazimir, a member of the European Central Financial institution’s Governing Council, was charged with bribery in Slovakia, the place politicians are stepping up stress to attempt to drive him out.

Kazimir, who heads the nation’s central financial institution, rejected the allegations. His lawyer Ondrej Mularcik stated that the governor obtained notification of the costs and can file a grievance towards them.

“I don’t really feel responsible of any crime,” Kazimir stated in a press release distributed by the central financial institution on Tuesday. He stated the claims towards him are unsubstantiated. An ECB spokeswoman had no remark.

The Governing Council is not any stranger to having its members enduring authorized troubles. Within the final decade, members from Cyprus to Latvia and Slovenia have confronted fees or accusations which have raised complaints from the ECB of violating central financial institution independence. Below EU legislation, governments are forbidden from dismissing central bankers except severe misconduct is confirmed.

The graft accusations towards Kazimir are associated to his position as finance minister within the authorities of Prime Minister Robert Fico, which misplaced energy in 2020, the newspaper Sme reported. Kazimir has been in his present job since 2019.

Kazimir has defied political stress to step down as an investigation unfolded. He’s the highest-ranking member of the earlier Slovak cupboard to be caught up in an anti-corruption push by the federal government, which took energy final yr after a marketing campaign centered on combating graft.

The allegations will now be investigated, a course of that can final at the very least 4 months, after which a court docket will determine whether or not this warrants an indictment or not. If convicted, the cost carries a sentence of two to 5 years in jail.

Peter Kremsky, a lawmaker from Slovakia’s ruling coalition, informed the DennikN newspaper on Wednesday that he’ll submit a proposal to a parliamentary committee subsequent week asking the federal government to demand the president to take away Kazimir from his put up. Below Slovak legislation, instances associated to dismissing central financial institution governors are determined by EU courts.

Kazimir is the second central financial institution governor from an jap euro-area nation to face bribery allegations. In 2018, Ilmars Rimsevics, a former Latvian member of the European Central Financial institution’s Governing Council, was detained and later charged.

Rimsevics is combating a felony indictment that he solicited in bribes in trade for serving to the now-defunct Trasta Komercbanka with regulatory points. His arrest was one in every of a string of scandals that threatened the status of the monetary business within the euro-area nation. He denies all fees and blames a gaggle of banks for his authorized issues.

In a case being heard by the European Court docket of Justice about Rimsevics’s case, an adviser stated in April that ECB Governing Council members take pleasure in huge immunity from prosecution of their formal duties.

The immunity ought to stop that “judicial proceedings are initiated or measures of nationwide constraints are adopted” earlier than there’s “an settlement with the establishment to which this particular person belongs,” Advocate Common Juliane Kokott stated in a non-binding opinion then. A full judgment on the case continues to be pending.

Former Premier Fico’s record-long rule led to a wave of public anger after the gunning down of an investigative journalist who wrote about hyperlinks between crime and politics. Anti-government demonstrations finally toppled the administration.

After the brand new authorities rose to energy, a string of officers had been arrested together with a former deputy justice minister, a particular prosecutor and a police chief — although authorities had not charged any high politicians till now.

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