Monday, 21 April 2014

Amnesty applies to suspicious bank bosses, drug trafficker

3 January 2013

Ostrava, North Moravia, Jan 2 (CTK) - The amnesty declared by President Vaclav Klaus also applies to managers of the Union banka bank who are suspected of contributing to its bankruptcy by extending out controversial loans and to a convicted drug drafficker, judicial officials told CTK yesterday.

The verdict on the Union banka managers was to be given on January 22, but they will go unpunished as a result of the fresh amnesty that also applies to cases whose handling has been dragging on for more than eight years, judge Igor Krajdl said.

The amnesty may also apply to eight former managers of the Ceskomoravska druzstevni sporitelna (CMDS) credit union who were tried over illegal machinations that stripped the company of 300 million crowns and resulted in the CMDS's bankruptcy, Krajdl said.

Out of the convicts with lower prison sentences, the serving of the sentence may be forgiven to Artur Slawomir Kamedula, owner of the Amsterdam shops network in the Czech Republic, who faces two years in jail for drugs trafficking.

Kamedula, a Polish citizen, is to start serving the sentence in early February.

His conviction was a breakthrough as it helped eradicate the shops that offered synthetic drugs presented as collectors' items.

The prosecution of the suspects in the Union banka case will be halted in two days, Krajdl said.

The five former managers and their accomplices from companies linked to Union banka were accused of crime in 2003 and in 2004, and criminal charges were filed against them in 2010. The court started to deal with the case in early 2011.

Five members of the bank's board of directors are suspected of providing unusual loans, without adequate guarantees, to persons who were somehow linked to Union banka. The chance of the loans being repaid was minimal at the time when the loans were provided, state attorney Karel Kalda told the media previously.

Another person prosecuted in this case but separately is Italian financier Giuseppe Roselli, who, however, is unlikely subject to the amnesty, "His prosecution started only after 2005," Krajdl said.

In the case of the eight former CMDS managers, the court acquitted all last March, describing their suspicious transactions as mere wrong managerial steps.

"The case is now being dealt with by the High Court. If it abolished the acquittal, the suspects would be subjects to the amnesty and their prosecution would have to be halted," Krejdl said.

($1=19.055 crowns)

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