Friday, 25 April 2014

MP Chaloupka acquitted of corruption charges

18 March 2013

Hodonin, South Moravia, March 15 (CTK) - A Czech court acquitted lawmaker Otto Chaloupka (junior opposition Public Affairs, VV) and his former assistant Vratislav Varejka of corruption charges Friday.

Chaloupka was suspected of accepting bribes from Varejka.

Judge Ladislav Sobotka said the alleged bribery was not proved.

The verdict has not yet taken effect.

Chaloupka faced up to eight years in prison, Varejka up to six years if the charges against them were proved.

Varejka claims that he had to give a part of his pay, which he received from the lower house of parliament, to Chaloupka. Chaloupka dismissed it. He said Varejka only paid off a debt in this way.

The police investigation of the case was launched in April 2011.

VV lower house deputies' group head Katerina Klasnova said the case seemed to have a political background.

She indicated that Chaloupka had been charged because he had not supported the government-sponsored bill on property settlement between the state and churches in the lower house of parliament.

The VV had been part of the government coalition but it moved to opposition in spring 2012.

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