EPPO to investigate one of Slovakia’s largest EU-funded digital projects

he project was launched during the government of ex-premier Peter Pellegrini under the management of Richard Rasi (both Voice-SD). [EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC]

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) will investigate one of Slovakia’s largest cyber projects worth over €50 million, which the previous government of Peter Pellegrini executed.

The Minister for Investment, Regional Development and Informatisation Veronika Remišová (For the People) confirmed the information on Wednesday.

Juraj Novocký, a Slovak representative in the EPPO, later clarified for the SME daily that the office had started an investigation on suspicion of fraud and other offences.

The project was launched during the government of ex-premier Peter Pellegrini under the management of Richard Rasi (both Voice-SD), who was responsible for the information and Cohesion Policy funds at the time.

If the EPPO investigation confirmed the shortcomings in the project, Slovakia would likely have to return the money to the EU budget.

“If we have to return this money – because it was a project funded by the EU – then digital leaders Richard Raši and Peter Pellegrini simply robbed the citizens of the Slovak Republic of €52 million,” said Remišová.

The National Cyber Security Incident Management System project aims to create special units that protect state information networks from hacker attacks or pirated downloads of sensitive data. It is currently one of the key components of state security.

At the initiative of Remišová, the project was also under investigation by the Slovak Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ), which found serious irregularities. According to the SME daily, the office discovered several invoices with overvalued prices in the project. Based on the results of the inspection, the NKU filed a criminal complaint.

(Marián Koreň| EURACTIV.sk)

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