Thursday, 24 April 2014

Police to question minister Drábek in bribery case

ČTK |
8 October 2012

Prague, Oct 7 (CTK) - Outgoing Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaromir Drabek (TOP 09) will be questioned by police investigators on Friday in the case of his former first deputy Vladimir Siska who is accused of bribery, Drabek said in the Duel discussion programme on TV Prima Family Sunday.

According to accusations, Siska and Milan Hojer, former head of the ministry's IT department, offered a bid worth at least 100 million crowns to the OKsystem firm for withdrawing its complaint against the ministry. The firm was to supply information systems for welfare benefits and unemployment section.

The firm lodged the complaint with the Anti-trust Office (UOHS).

Drabek announced this week that he would resign from the ministerial post as from the end of October over the case.

He reiterated Sunday that he had committed no wrong but he had taken political responsibility for the case.

Foreign Minister and TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg told iDnes.cz server that in his opinion, this case could rather negatively influence TOP 09's results in the upcoming regional and Senate elections.

"Yet I hope that people will also find out that Minister Drabek has behaved exceptionally honestly," Schwarzenberg said.

An audit of the ministry's orders, which the opposition parties demand, is not necessary, as the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) will soon carry out a check planned a couple of months ahead, Drabek said.

Internal audits are working at the ministry, he added.

Drabek also stood up for Siska.

"I believe that he has not done anything dishonest or unlawful deliberately. I naturally cannot know whether he made a tactical mistake during negotiations since I did not attend them," Drabek noted.

As far as he knows, he added, Siska was not negotiating about a new order but talked about an addendum to a valid contract for next year.

The TOP 09 leadership will discuss Drabek's successor for the first time on Tuesday. Drabek said he expected his party colleagues to reach agreement on Tuesday whether it would be a party member or an unaffiliated expert.

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