Martin Barták figures in the controversial Tatra and Iveco cases
The Slovak military paid nearly 40 percent less for Iveco armored vehicles directly from the supplier than its Czech counterpart did in a 2009 deal signed by former defense minister Martin Barták, which was mediated by the companies Praga Export and Omnipol, the daily E15 reported Friday.
The Slovaks paid the equivalent of Kč 27 million per armored vehicle, compared with Kč 43 million the Czechs paid, the daily said. Barták (Civic Democrats, ODS) did not launch a tender for the Iveco order, claiming that a joint purchase with Slovakia would reduce the price.
Barták signed the controversial Kč 3.6 billion contract for the supply of 90 armored vehicles equipped with Norwegian Kongsberg weapon stations; jammers and other equipment will cost another 300 million crowns. Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra (TOP 09) commissioned an audit of the deal, which showed that Praga Export and Omnipol charged a mark-up of nearly 20 percent.
Vondra has pledged to purge his ministry of people close to Barták, who was put on unpaid leave from his position of deputy finance minister while police investigate charges that he attempted to bribe Cabannis.