Czech Position has obtained a detailed price offer from November 2005 addressed to the Ministry of Defense’s armament section that supports allegations that the Czech Army got a raw deal on the purchase of four CASA C-295 transport planes. The document is part of the file upon which the police are charging ex-defense minister Vlasta Parkanová for allegedly violating her fiduciary duties in signing off on a 2009 deal.
The Czech Police Presidium on Wednesday proudly announced that the anti-corruption unit has significantly increased the number of charges pressed in 2011. The day before, however, the High State Prosecutor’s Office in Olomouc announced that an investigation had failed to uncover the source of the leak to the press of the name of a key witness in the so-called Pandur investigation.
Lieutenant colonel Zdeněk Ondráček of the Czech special police unit for uncovering corruption and financial crime, (ÚOKFK), is one of many long-time officers quitting the force. Ondráček says low pay was part of the reason, but he also felt he could not really carry out his work to the best of his abilities and draw on his years of experience — and saw no prospect of that situation changing.
Following the resignation of detective Petr Krömer, ill-reputed detective Václav Němec is to lead the investigation into suspected corruption involving Czech truck manufacturer Tatra, a source has told Czech Position. Both the departure of Krömer and others, and the assigning of Němec to the case have alarmed police colleagues and raised doubts about the integrity of the Tatra investigation.
Czech Police detective Lt. Col. Zdeněk Ondráček — who led investigations into the heavily criticized Opencard tender and suspected abuse of office by supreme auditor František Dohnal — recently left the Unit for Combating Corruption and Finance Crime (ÚOKFK) after more than 22 years on the job. He is just one of dozens of elite detecitves who have quit or soon plan to, feeling hamstrung in their efforts to tackle high-profile corruption cases.
Two former police inspectors from the anti-corruption unit have filed a criminal complaint against the new head of the unit, Tomáš Martinec, who was appointed by former interior minister, Radek John, who was forced to leave the post in April. They claim Martinec intentionally obstructed the investigation into alleged payment of bribes by John’s party colleague Vít Bárta.
Evaluating police work in a critical and fair way has always been rather difficult. But while the methodology is changed from time to time to hide overly conspicuous nonsense, the underlying principle of the “chalking-up-stripes-system” — which fiddles with crime statistics to make the police look good and increase their bonuses — has always remained the same, writes commentator Jan Schneider.
Police headquarters has announced that Tomáš Martinec will be the new director of the Financial Crime and Corruption Division (ÚOKFK) of the Czech Police, replacing Libor Vrba, who stepped down in February, after agreement with Police President Petr Lessy. No official selection process was held, with the rationale given that Martinec has held the same professional rank and has extensive managerial experience.