Peter Kazimir, head of Slovakia’s central bank, said the allegations against him were unclear.
Peter Kazimir, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was accused of bribery in Slovakia, where politicians are trying to force him out.
Kazimi, the country’s central bank chief, has denied the allegations. His lawyer, Andrej Mularsic, said the governor had received a notice of complaint and would file charges against them.
In a statement issued by the central bank on Tuesday, Kazimir said, “I do not consider myself guilty of any crime. He said the allegations against him were baseless. An ECB spokesman did not comment.
The Governing Council is no stranger to enduring legal troubles from its members. Over the past decade, members from Cyprus to Latvia and Slovenia have faced allegations or allegations that the ECB has violated the independence of the central bank. Under EU law, the government prohibits central bankers from firing unless serious misconduct is proven.
Allegations of corruption against Kazimir relate to his role as finance minister in Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government, which lost power in 2020, the newspaper Smyr reported. Kazimir has been in his current job since 201.
Rejecting Kazimi’s political investigation to withdraw from the investigation. He is the highest-ranking member of the previous Slovak cabinet who will be caught up in the government’s anti-corruption crackdown, which came to power last year after a campaign to fight corruption.
The allegations will now be investigated, a process that will last at least four months and then a court will decide whether the allegation has a warrant. If convicted, he faces up to two to five years in prison.
Peter Kremsky, a lawmaker from Slovakia’s ruling coalition, told the Denikne newspaper on Wednesday that he would submit a proposal to a parliamentary committee next week to ask the president to remove Kazimir from office. Under Slovak law, cases involving the dismissal of central bank governors are decided by EU courts.
Kazimierz is the second central bank governor in the eastern eurozone to face bribery charges. In 2018, Ilmars Rimeseviks, a former Latvian member of the European Central Bank’s board of directors, was arrested and later charged.
Rimesevics is fighting a criminal charge that he sought bribes from the now inactive trustee Comarkbank in exchange for assistance in regulatory matters. His arrest was a string of scandals that threatened the reputation of the eurozone’s financial industry. He denies all allegations and blames a group of banks for his legal problems.
An adviser at the European Court of Justice’s hearing on Rimesevic’s case said in April that members of the ECB’s governing council were facing widespread resistance from the prosecution for performing their official duties.
Advocate General Julian Kokot then made a non-binding opinion that this resistance should be resisted “before judicial proceedings are initiated or measures of national restraint are taken” before an agreement can be reached with the organization to which this person belongs. The full verdict of the case is still pending.
Prime Premier Fico’s record-long rule ended in public outrage after an investigative journalist was shot dead who wrote about the relationship between crime and politics. Anti-government protests eventually led to the fall of the administration.
Since the new government came to power, several officials, including a former deputy justice minister, a special prosecutor and a police chief, have been arrested – although authorities have not yet charged any top politicians.