Czech Position has obtained the minutes from a meeting between representatives of the European Commission and two Czech ministries. Brussels has set nine tasks for the country to fulfill; otherwise EU funds will be withheld. The conditions include providing EU officials with information from the police investigation into EU fund misuse by the suspended head of the council for the Northwest region.
Anti-organized crime police and officials from the High Public Prosecution Service in Olomouc raided the offices of the Supreme State Prosecution Service in Brno and the Highest Public Prosecution Service in Prague on Wednesday in search of evidence relating to the leak of testimony and names in the investigation into alleged solicitation of bribes by top Czech politicians in an arms deal with the Austrian company Steyr.
The global construction company Skanska has come up with an original initiative to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the world of Czech public tenders. The Swedish-based company has established a subsidiary, Skanska kvalifikační, the sole aim of which is to participate in public tenders with unreasonable financial conditions.
Police are to recommend the public prosecution to charge de facto Public Affairs (VV) leader Vít Bárta with corruption for giving cash payments to party colleagues, allegedly in return for their loyalty, the server aktulane.cz reports, citing two anonymous sources well acquainted with the investigation. Police have reportedly dismissed Bárta’s claim he gave cash to payments to MPs Jaroslav Škárka and Kristýna Kočí as personal loans.
The chief of the Supreme Prosecution Service (NSZ), Pavel Zeman, wants to resuscitate floundering anti-corruption efforts by creating a special team of elite prosecutors. In an interview with Czech Position, Zeman says the initiative is one of several measures he intends to introduce to make the service more effective — and to restore public confidence in the organ.
MP Michal Babák, the economic expert for Public Affairs (VV), has suspended his membership in the junior coalition party following news that the Finance Ministry’s special auditing arm, the FAÚ, has handed over materials to the police related to a criminal complaint against him for alleged money laundering.
Public Affairs (VV) deputy Michal Babák is again making headlines in connection with his party’s financing. Apart from the Kč 6.5 million he was already known to have ‘lent’ to VV, it now emerges that in March the junior coalition party allegedly borrowed another Kč 5 million from him. The Finance Ministry’s special auditing arm, the FAÚ, has handed evidence of money laundering over to the police. Can the ‘wizard’ Babák ‘cast spells’ to clear his name?
The Ostrava branch of the anti-corruption police last week began a criminal review into the role of former Social Democrat (ČSSD) Prime Minister Stanislav Gross and his then Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the current ČSSD chairman, in the 2004 privatization of 46 percent of OKD coal company for a fraction of the assessed value, the Právo daily reported Tuesday.
At first glance, the installation might appear to be a celebration of modern Czech history, or perhaps a photographic exhibit (albeit with lengthy explanations of the artists’ conceptions). In fact, it’s an attempt to jog the collective memory of the nation about recent dark chapters since 1989, according to sociologist Šárka Hastrmanová, executive director of Respekt Institut, which is hosting it.
Corruption in Czech business sector is seen as widespread by 78 percent of employees for large companies surveyed by consultancy Ernst & Young. Czech respondents were also far less likely than others in Europe to see the benefits of a positive ethical reputation, and most managers were willing to make ethical compromises to meet goals. Management, the report says, sets a bad example.