ECB spokesman Kazimir, accused of bribery, denies Reuters wrongdoing

© Reuters. FILE PHILE: Peter Kazimir, former Minister of Finance of Slovakia, attends Asia Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China January 15, 2018. REUTERS / Bobby Yip

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Slovak central bank and European bank governing body member Peter Kazimir has been charged with bribery but has denied the allegations and defended himself, Kazimir and his lawyer said on Tuesday.

“I do not feel guilty,” Kazimir, who served as finance minister before moving to the central bank in 2019, said in a statement followed by an email following a press report that he had been convicted.

A Slovak press release, citing several undisclosed sources, said Kazimir had been accused of bribery by a former tax official in the country who has been accused several times and is now linked to investigators.

Kazimir’s lawyer Ondrej Mularcik confirmed to Reuters by telephone that Kazimir had been charged with bribery and asked for the verdict, but did not elaborate.

“The contents of the verdict are not false and his opinion is not substantiated,” Kazimir said.

“I have no information and I do not know how to violate this law, nor have I ever been interested in fixing anything.”

Members of the ECB’s Governing Body may be removed if they are found guilty or if the authorities provide sufficient evidence to prove that they have done so.

The ECB declined to comment.

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