Thursday, 17 April 2014

Ex-minister Parkanová receives police accusations

19 July 2012

Prague, July 18 (CTK) - The anti-corruption police delivered the accusations of breach of trust and abuse of public office in connection with the purchase of CASA planes for the Czech military to former defence minister Vlasta Parkanova (TOP 09) Wednesday, police spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej has told CTK.

"We will not provide more information," he said.

Parkanova said she would file a complaint against her prosecution soon.

Parkanova was defence minister in 2007-2009 when the contract on the CASAs, which were allegedly overpriced, was signed. The police asked the Chamber of Deputies to release her for criminal prosecution in June.

Deputies complied with the police request and stripped Parkanova of immunity to enable her prosecution last Wednesday.

According to the police, the CASAs were overpriced by 658 million crowns. The police say Parkanova did not have an expert opinion on the planes' price worked out.

Parkanova claims she did not make any mistake in the CASA case as she was not obliged to order an expert opinion.

The purchase of three CASA C-295 planes for 3.5 billion crowns and the swap of five Czech-made L-159 subsonic fighters made by Aero Vodochody for the fourth CASA were approved by the Czech government in 2009.

Parkanova told CTK Wednesday that the resolution on launching her criminal prosecution corresponded with the police request for her release for prosecution.

"It still concerns the question whether I was obliged to order an expert opinion on the usual price during the purchase and exchange of the CASA planes and whether such an expert opinion could be worked out in the case of military materiel," she said.

Parkanova will be represented by defence lawyer Tomas Sokol who is also defending two people accused in the case of deputy David Rath, former Social Democrat (CSSD) regional governor, who is suspected of bribery.

Along with Parkanova the police have also accused Jiri Stanek, former head of the Defence Ministry'ss armament section, in the CASA case. He, too, has denied any wrongdoing.

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