Thursday, 25 April 2019

Charges brought in another branch of ex-politician Rath's case

13 July 2018

Prague, July 12 (CTK) - State attorney Jiri Prazak brought corruption charges against nine people and eight firms in another branch of the case of the former Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) MP, minister and regional governor, David Rath, on Wednesday, Prazak has announced on his website.

They are primarily charged with giving and taking a bribe, arranging for an advantage in placing a public order, scheming in placing a public order and harming the European Union's financial interests.

The Prague Regional Court will deal with the case.

The police proposed that Rath, CSSD lawmaker (2006-2012), Central Bohemia governor (2008-2012) and health minister (2005-2006), be charged in the second branch of the case in April.

This case concerns manipulations with public contracts in the Central Bohemia Region, which Rath headed then, in particular the reconstruction and construction of hospital pavilions in Kladno, Mlada Boleslav and Kolin and the supplies of ambulances for the Central Bohemia Emergency Service. The contracts were worth more than 700 million crowns in total.

The state attorney brought the corruption charges in this case in 2016 already, but the Prague Regional Court returned the case to the police over the wiretapping recordings they gained during the investigation.

"Compared to the original charges brought in July 2016, neither the number of the accused and criminal acts nor their legal qualification have changed," Prazak said on Thursday.

In late June, the Regional Court in Prague sent Rath to prison for 8.5 years for corruption connected with public contracts, which was the same sentence it imposed on him three years ago, and to the forfeiture of some 22 million crowns, which the police seized from him.

Another ten people charged in the same case were also given the same sentences as before in the new trial.

Rath, who pleads innocent, appealed the verdict again.

Rath was charged with bribery linked to the planned reconstruction of a chateau and the purchase of hospital equipment in the Central Bohemia Region. The case started in mid-May 2012 when Rath was caught red-handed with seven million crowns in a wine box, a suspected bribe for a manipulated commission relating to a chateau reconstruction, and arrested.

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