Saturday, 26 May 2018

E15: ČSSD's property frozen due to its giant debt

9 January 2017

Prague, Jan 6 (CTK) - A distraint officer has frozen the property of the Czech senior government Social Democrats (CSSD), the Lidovy dum and adjacent Lanna Palace lucrative real estate in Prague centre, due to their 337-million-crown debt they owe to the late lawyer Zdenek Altner, daily E15 wrote on Friday.

A note on the distraint proceedings being launched was added to the entry of the two buildings in the real estate register, the daily writes.

Jiri Chvojka, media representative of the party's lawyers, says this changes nothing in the postponement of the enforceability of the verdict that the Supreme Court ordered in June.

"The written record in the real estate register is just a technical note. It reflects the fact that the Prague 1 District Court issued a formal authorisation to a distraint officer on the basis of the Prague Municipal Court's decision from last March," Chvojka told E15.

If the distraint officer enters the right to administer the real estate in the register, he will also receive the rent, in this case from the Finep developers' group that is leasing the Lanna Palace, the paper writes.

The real estate would be auctioned off in the last resort if no other form of distraint were possible, defence lawyer Bystrik Bugan said.

According to the CSSD, there is no risk of the distraint officer raising his claims since the Supreme Court has postponed the verdict's enforceability, E15 writes.

Altner helped the CSSD successfully defend its ownership of its Lidovy dum headquarters in the late 1990s. The contract from 1997 granted him a contractual reward worth 10 percent of the lucrative real estate's value if he succeeded in pushing through the party's claim to it.

In late March, Altner won a protracted court dispute about the reward with the CSSD. The court ruled that the Social Democrats must pay him 18.5 million for his services and a contractual fine of 318 million for a 5734-day delay. Besides, the party must cover the court proceedings costs of 816,000 crowns.

The Social Democrats refused to pay Altner and they only sent money to his creditors who demanded some 20 million crowns from him.

The CSSD also filed a petition for an appellate review with the Supreme Court, asking it to postpone the enforceability of the verdict, which the court did eventually.

Altner died last November and the debt became part of the inheritance proceedings.

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