Monday, 29 July 2019

Babis brands ruling on H-System housing project clients unjust

25 July 2018

Prague, July 24 (CTK) - Czech PM Andrej Babis (ANO) on Tuesday branded as unjust a court's fresh and definitive ruling that clients of the bankrupt H-System developer project must leave the houses they completed on their own.

These selected clients, associated in the Svatopluk housing cooperative, have to leave their homes in eight houses in Horomerice near Prague within a month of the court verdict's effect.

By its decision, the Supreme Court (NS) has complied with a petition for an appellate review filed by the H-System bankruptcy administrator Josef Monsport.

At a press conference following a cabinet meeting, Babis said he has been receiving SMS messages with questions about the H-System verdict, which made him ask the justice minister what else legal remedy can be sought in this case.

"This definitely amounts to injustice," Babis said, referring to the NS decision driving the dwellers from their homes.

The Interior Ministry can provide 17 flats for the H-System clients from the Svatopluk housing cooperative, and will gave them this offer in the days to come, Deputy PM and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on Tuesday, in reaction to the NS's verdict.

He said he personally felt sick of the case, but that courts must be respected.

Justice Minister Jan Knezinek (for ANO) told journalists that he is not empowered to comment on the court verdict. He, nevertheless, pointed out the chance of the losing party to turn to the Constitutional Court (US).

Knezinek said he understands how painful the case is, but is not authorised to comment on the contents of court verdicts and that the NS verdict definitively closes the case on the general courts' level.

Monsport sought the vacation of the flats in order to sell them and divide the money among all clients damaged by H-System's collapse in 1998, which left most of the housing project incomplete and made part of the clients complete their flats on their own.

The NS declared the rent contracts between the Svatopluk cooperative and the dwellers absolutely void, since Svatopluk completed a developer project on H-System's plots, thereby actually investing money in another owner's property.

Zlin Regional Governor and senator Jiri Cunek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) also criticised the NS's verdict in the H-system case, calling it unjust.

Cunek, who has been dealing with the case for several years, told CTK on Tuesday that the people living in the flats they ahd built themselves in Horomerice should turn to the Constitutional Court (US).

"They paid for their houses three times. They agreed with the authorised person, the then bankruptcy administrator, who promised them this. However, the original administrator was not a thief and did not belong to the bankruptcy mafia, so he was dismissed and replaced with administrator Monsport, a former Communist prosecutor," said Cunek.

He filed a legal complaint on suspicion of fraudulent bankruptcy proceedings against Monsport and other administrators and lawyers in 2014. However, the anti-corruption police did not find out any law violations.

Two years ago, Cunek also demanded that the centre for fighting organised crime look into the suspicion that Monsport figured in the Panama Papers case. Monsport dismissed the allegation.

Monsport, 60, worked as a prosecutor from 1985. He took part in the Communist show trial of the Jazz section civic group. After the 1989 collapse of the communist regime, he opened a legal office in 1994. He was, for instance, the defence lawyer of former defence minister Martin Bartak, who was acquitted of corruption charges in 2014, and former commercial TV Nova director Vladimir Zelezny.

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