Deaflympics Committee Head Sentenced to Thirteen Years
BANSKA BYSTRICA, June 1, (WEBNOVINY) — Banska Bystrica District Court decided on Wednesday that the Slovak Deaflympics Committee President Jaromir Ruda and Kosice-based notary public Stanislav Furda are guilty of the particularly serious crime of defrauding 1.6 million euros that were designated for the Winter Deaflympics 2011, to be held in Slovakia.
Ruda has been sentenced to a prison term of thirteen years; Furda to fourteen years and he will additionally be prohibited from exercising his notary profession for ten years. The court also decided both will have to report to a probation officer after they serve their sentences. The court also decided on forfeiture of their property. The sentence is not yet valid, as both men have filed appeals and the prosecution still has time to do so, as well.
The defrauded money came from a sponsoring Slovak firm and was supposed to be used within preparation of organizing the 2011 High Tatras Deaflympics. In April 2008, Furda was given SKK 52 million for safekeeping. According to the prosecution, based on an agreement with Ruda, the notary transferred the money to various accounts and withdrew cash altogether in value of SKK 48.5 million, and in the agreed-upon deadline paid back only SKK 3.5 million. Ruda and Furda both claim to be innocent. The notary stated that he did not defraud the money as he “sent the money to the accounts according to Ruda’s orders.”
In February, Ruda was charged with an eleven million euro fraud by the Office for Fight Against Corruption. According to the police, Ruda fraudulently borrowed ten million euro from at least four companies for financing the 17th Winter Deaflympics Games in the High Tatras. He neither returned the money nor provided documentation of its use. In 2010, Ruda also fraudulently obtained money from member associations of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). They sent him at least one million euro, which Ruda did not use for the purposes declared.
The 17th winter Deaflympics were supposed to start at Strbske Pleso in the High Tatra mountains on February 18. After the Winter Deaflympics organizing committee, led by Ruda, failed to provide financing for the event in spite of repeated promises, the ICSD decided to cancel the event a week before its start.