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Slovakia's central bank chief fined for bribery and faces trial

eter Kazimir arrives for a meeting of EU finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg, 2015
eter Kazimir arrives for a meeting of EU finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg, 2015 Copyright AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File
Copyright AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File
By Euronews with AP
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Peter Kazimir, who is also on the European Central Bank's governing council, was declared guilty of bribery in Slovakia.

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The director of Slovakia's central bank was declared guilty of bribery and fined €100,000 on Thursday, a spokesperson for Slovakia's Special Criminal Court confirmed to Euronews.

Peter Kazimir, who is also a member of the European Central Bank's governing council, received a two-year suspended sentence and could go to jail if he does not pay the fine.

The verdict, which is not yet final, was issued on April 3 without a trial, spokesperson Katarina Kudjakova said but was only made public this Thursday.

The state prosecution service appealed it shortly afterwards, sending it back to court, according to the AP.

Kazimir, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, could also appeal.

He is accused of handing a bribe of €48,000 to the country's tax office related to an investigation of private companies, but few details are available about the case.

The case dates back to when Kazimir was Slovakia's finance minister from 2012 to 2019.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger has called on the central bank chief to resign from his post.

Kazimir was a member of Robert Fico's Smer-Social Democracy party which lost the 2020 general election and was replaced by a coalition whose parties campaigned on anti-corruption.

The country now faces an early election in September after the government lost a no-confidence vote last year.

The European Central Bank refused to comment on the case.

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