The Czech official at the center of a bribery case from 2006 that indirectly led to the resignation of Jiří Besser (TOP 09) as culture minister last month is due to spend her first day behind bars as a convicted felon on Monday.
Radka Kafková, a former board member of the Czech Consolidation Agency (ČKA), or “bail-out” agency, lost her final appeal in the corruption case based mainly on evidence from the wiretapping of calls made in 2006 between her subordinate Josef Tykva and two businessmen, Josef Lopata and Pavel Hrách — a friend of Besser’s since childhood.
A Prague Municipal Court convicted Kafková a year ago for seeking a bribe in exchange for internal information about a Kč 3 billion debt of the company Cetus and influencing the ČKA’s selection process in the related tender. Like Hrách and Lopata, she was at first fined and given a suspended sentence, but after appealing the decision, Kafková received a stiffer sentence.
Prosecutors had originally also accused Kafková of rigging the sale of debts, but judges found that she could not have done so, although she and others were found to have conspired to influence the selection process in favor of the purpose-built company Arrowrise.
Besser was forced to resign as culture minister after it emerged that in asset declarations to the lower house of Parliament he had twice failed to list his partial ownership with Hrách in a US company, Comoros Group LLC, which owned a holiday apartment by a Florida golf course. In not declaring the assets, Besser had violated the conflict of interest law.
Apart from the ČKA case, it later emerged that his friend Hrách had also been convicted several years ago of defrauding a company he had worked for in Beroun, the city south of Prague of which Besser served four terms as mayor before joining the government of Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) in 2009.