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Slovak central bank governor charged with bribery

The head of Slovakia’s central bank, Peter Kazimir, is facing bribery charges for a second time.

Prosecutors had earlier dropped charges over the alleged bribe, which goes back to when he was a finance minister.

He has condemned the allegation and denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Kazimir sits on the European Central Bank’s governing council and was Slovak finance minister from 2012 until 2019 under the centre-left government of the Smer party.

“The accusation that I should have bribed a senior [tax] official is an absolute lie,” he said in a statement from the National Bank of Slovakia. “I have not committed any crime.”

In June, the special prosecutor’s office dropped the charge, and asked prosecutors to review the case. The central bank governor’s lawyer said the National Criminal Agency’s decision to resurrect the charges disrespected the prosecutors’ decision.

Mr Kazimir was initially charged last year with corruption. According to Slovak media, he was alleged to have acted as an intermediary in giving Mr Imrecze a bribe of nearly €50,000 (£43,000).

But the case was dropped, reportedly because of the evidence.

Writing by Omotola Oguneye