Marek Dalík is a former advisor to ex-PM Mirek Topolánek
Marek Dalík, a close friend and advisor to former prime minister Mirek Topolánek (Civic Democrats, ODS), allegedly asked for a payment of €18 million (about Kč 460 million) to ensure the continuation of the Czech Defense Ministry’s order for 107 Pandur armored personnel carriers (APCs) from the company Austrian arms producer Steyr Mannlicher, the dailies Mladá fronta dnes (MfD) and Právo reported Wednesday.
The manager identified as Stephan S. told Czech and Austrian officials investigating allegations of suspicious circumstances surrounding the Kč 14.4 billion purchase of 107 Pandur APCs that a key demand in negotiations came from Dalík at a meeting on November 8, 2007, in Prague.
In addition to Dalík and Staphan S., former deputy defense minister Martin Barták, Slovak arms dealer Miroslav Výboh, John Ulrich, president of General Dynamics European Land Systems — the majority owner of Steyr Mannlicher — and former US diplomat and advisor to General Dynamics, Victor Jakovich, were also present at the meeting.
“Shortly before the end of the negotiations Mr. Barták asked John Ulrich for a short private conversation at which moment Mr. Dalík addressed me with the following matter: He, Mr. Dalík, having closed the original agreements, should have got a deal cut,” Stephan S. told the investigators at the end of March.
“For this he was promised Kč 100 million by Mr. Musela [an arms dealer and acquaintance of ex-prime minister Stanislav Gross] for his costs, but he didn’t receive this. If we now have an interest to continue with the project, it would be necessary to pay out three times €6 million.”
MfD says it will publish more details about the allegations in the coming days.