Sunday, 20 April 2014

PM faces criminal complaint over alleged bribery

8 January 2013

Prague, Jan 7 (CTK) - Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, chairman of the Civic Democrats (ODS), faces a criminal complaint, filed by defence lawyer Vaclav Laska, on suspicion of having bribed three ODS deputies-rebels with lucrative posts in firms with state participation.

Laska, who cooperates with Transparency International, also filed a complaint against the three former deputies, Marek Snajdr, Petr Tluchor and Ivan Fuksa who, he says, may have accepted a bribe.

Necas called the complaint absurd.

"Anybody can file and criminal complaint against anybody. Nevertheless, I consider this matter fully absurd," Necas said in a statement released to CTK by his spokesman Michal Schuster.

According to the Czech Penal Code, a public official may be sent to prison for up to six years over offering a bribe and for up to 12 years for accepting a bribe.

Snajdr, Tluchor a Fuksa gave up their MP's mandates in November 2012 to enable the passage of the government tax package with which they previously disagreed.

In December Snajdr was appointed a member of the supervisory board of Cepro company. Fuksa became managing director of Czech Aeroholding in January.

Media speculated that Tluchor would get a post in the state-run CEZ, the country's majority energy utility. Tluchor dismissed this. "I have been working for a private company as a consultant since the beginning of 2013," he told CTK.

Tluchor repeatedly said giving up their mandates allowed him, Fuksa and Snajdr to remain loyal to the ODS and act according to their conscience.

He indicated that the posts Fuksa and Snajdr received are no bribe.

Tluchor argued that Fuksa was first deputy finance minister for six years and he headed the board of directors of the CSA national air carrier.

"Now he got an offer to control the privatisation of CSA. This is the use of the services of an experienced manager," Tluchor said about Fuksa.

Laska told CTK that he had filed the complaint with the Prague Municipal State Attorney's Office Monday.

"The respective deputies gave up their mandates to a high extent because they were promised significant posts in companies with a state stake. It was Prime Minister Petr Necas who made this promise and other persons, including Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09), for instance, helped secure these posts," Laska said in the criminal complaint.

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg repeatedly confirmed that Necas had made this promise to the deputies, Laska pointed out.

The protest of some Civic Democrat legislators against the planned tax rise stirred up a several-day government crisis and caused the postponement of the passing of the 2013 state budget bill.

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