Martin Barták, widely presumed to have been charged by anti-corruption police for attempted fraud and bribery in the military’s Kč 2.6 billion order for Tatra all-terrain trucks in 2006, says the charges against him are flawed, trumped up and politicized — and key witnesses like ex-US Amb. William J Cabaniss can’t even recall basic details of the alleged bribery attempt.
Ex-Czech PM Mirek Topolánek (ODS) has dismissed allegations in US Embassy in Prague cables — published by WikiLeaks — that his advisor and close friend, lobbyist Marek Dalík, sought an €18 million bribe from US-owned Austrian arms maker Steyr in the Pandur contract. Meanwhile, Kurier reports the ‘first concrete results’ of an Austrian-Czech probe into the deal, agreed under Topolánek, is imminent.
The Czech Republic appears keen to spend billions on new combat and armored personnel vehicles — far more than comparable countries do — although the army already has at its disposal Pandur, Dinga, and Iveco models. The move stems from the Defense Ministry strategic document known as the White Paper (BKO), a draft of which Czech Position has obtained.
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.