Friday, March 28, 2008

Peter V. questioned in Slovakia?

The Polish Ministry of Justice denies that Peter V. allegedly testified in a corruption and money laundering case in a Poloish consulate in Bratislava.

The ministry confirmed that Peter V., arrested on Monday on charges of helping in money laundering and fraud, scheduled a meeting in the Polish consulate in Slovakia, but finally refused to testify about the so-called "secret accounts of politicians".

He only agreed to testify in the case concerning his pardoning by the former President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

So far, Justice Minister Zbigniew Cwiakalski has vehemently claimied that Peter V. was not interrogated in Slovakia.

Peter V., referred to in the media as "Cashier of the Left", is accused of running Swiss accounts of Polish left-wing politicians where they accumulated bribes obtained in Poland.

Dochnal to confront Peter V. in court

In a related story, Polish lobbyist Marek Dochnal is to confront Peter V., one of the murkiest figures of Polish business and politics, in a notorious court case concerning money laundering.

Dochnal is accused of money laundering to the tune of 70 million zlotys, fraud, as well as using forged documents, while Peter V., the so-called "cashier of the Left", is facing charges of helping in money laundering and fraud in the same case.

In his testimony so far, Marek Dochnal spoke about Swiss accounts of top politicians from the left side of the Polish political scene, where they accumulated money from, he claims, bribes obtained in Poland. Peter V., working for a Swiss bank, Couts, was running these accounts, it is alleged.

Peter V., then Piotr Filipkowski vel Filipczynski, first appeared in court in the 1970s when he robbed and brutally killed a 75-year-old woman at the age of 17. In 1979 he was temporarily released and obtained a passport in unclear circumstances in 1983. According to press reports, he began cooperating with the communist social services, which enabled him to go to Switzerland, where he started a job as a banker.

In 1998 the Polish judiciary launched the extradition procedure. Peter V. was detained in Switzerland and sent to Poland to serve the rest of his sentence, but was pardoned by the then President Aleksander Kwasniewski and went back to Switzerland in 1999.