Czech Position has obtained a detailed price offer from November 2005 addressed to the Ministry of Defense’s armament section that supports allegations that the Czech Army got a raw deal on the purchase of four CASA C-295 transport planes. The document is part of the file upon which the police are charging ex-defense minister Vlasta Parkanová for allegedly violating her fiduciary duties in signing off on a 2009 deal.
Vlasta Parkanová (TOP 09) resigned on Wednesday as deputy speaker of the House after MPs voted 117 to 45 (with 14 abstentions) to lift her parliamentary immunity so that she can be prosecuted over a contract to buy CASA transport planes for the Czech Army, which were allegedly unneeded and deliberately overpriced by at least Kč 658 million.
Hungarian oil and gas major MOL Group has announced it will buy Bohemia Realty and PAP Oil, two companies that own and operate 124 filling stations under Pap Oil brand in the Czech Republic (with a 4% retail market share) for an undisclosed price.
News that Prague-listed utility ČEZ will sell one or two coal-burning power plants with a capacity of 800–1,000 MW in a bid to end a European Commission probe into suspected anti-competitive behavior (and in line with plans to divest from carbon-emitting power generation capacity) has been welcomed by the markets. State-controlled ČEZ — which denies any wrongdoing — had faced a fine of up to 10 percent of its 2008 global turnover of $5.2 billion.
Prague City Council has decided to cancel a tender to supply cards for the controversial smart card scheme Opencard, now almost exclusively used as a public transport season ticket, due to an insufficient number of bidders.
The Czech police’s anti-corruption and financial crimes unit ÚOKFK has been investigating criminal complaints relating to the opaque brokerage Key Investments — into which nearly Kč 1 billion of public funds has apparently been lost or embezzled — for more than a year and a half. Finally, some politicians who had a hand in putting taxpayers’ money with the brokerage have been held to account.
The Czech Ministry of Finance is seeking Kč 6.8 billion in damages from six former managers of the mining company Mostecké uhelné společnost (MUS) whom anticorruption police have charged with stripping assets from and using the money to take over the company. The ministry also wants to have the controversial privatization of MUS, since renamed Czech Coal, annulled, the daily Lidové noviny reported Friday.
Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač, the owner of leading lignite miner Czech Coal, said in an interview for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes published Thursday — his first in 15 years — that no other party, including rival Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), will outbid him for state-c0ntrolled utility ČEZ’s coal-fired Počerady and Chvaletice plants.
Parliament’s immunity and mandate committee took no decision at their session Wednesday on the question of allowing MP Vlasta Parkanová (TOP 09), the former defense minister, to be prosecuted on abuse of office and other charges for her role in the 2009 purchase of CASA transport aircraft. But whether she can even be held liable for the ‘deliberately overpriced’ CASA contract is a matter of contention.
The Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTÚ) has reportedly backtracked on plans to auction off the 800 MHz frequency — the most suitable spectrum to build a nationwide fourth-generation network and easiest way to introduce a fourth mobile operator in the country.