Saturday, 7 September 2019

Dwellers to complain with Constitutional Court in H-System case

ČTK |
26 July 2018

Prague, July 25 (CTK) - The Svatopluk housing cooperative will file a complaint with the Constitutional Court against the verdict in the bankrupt developer firm H-system case which ordered the cooperative's members to leave the houses they built, one of them, Martin Junek, told CTK on Wednesday.

The Constitutional Court may postpone the validity of the order to move out. This is an exceptional measure, however, the constitutional judges have taken it in at least 16 cases this year so far.

After meeting lawyers this evening, Junek said filing a constitutional complaint along with a request for the postponement of the validity of the verdict is the only solution to avoid moving out of their flats in eight houses in Horomerice near Prague within a month.

The verdict, issued on Tuesday, concerns about 60 families.

Junek said the complaint would be filed next week because a lot of formal steps need to be taken before the filing.

The Supreme Court complied with the legal action of Josef Monsport, the H-System bankruptcy administrator, who said the Svatopluk members, who had completed their houses on their own after H-System's collapse in 1997, in fact do not own them. Monsport wants to sell them and use the money to compensate H-System's all damaged clients.

The court 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. It said Svatopluk waged a risk by completing selected flats without the step being approved by the bankruptcy court. Svatopluk had only a preliminary agreement with the then bankruptcy administrator about the flat completion and sale for a firmly set price.

The dwellers refuse to move out, they say they have no money to buy other housing.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) offered to mediate negotiations between Svatopluk representatives and Monsport.

Junek said he and Svatopluk's lawyer met Babis, who also invited Justice Minister Jan Knezinek to the meeting this morning.

He said the first meeting between Svatopluk and Monsport moderated by Babis would be held on Monday morning.

Lower-level courts previously dismissed the lawsuit in which Monsport sought the vacation of the flats by the dwellers.

After its establishment in 1993, the H-System firm signed contracts on the construction of flats and houses near Prague with about 1,000 clients. However, it went bankrupt in the autumn of 1997, after managing to complete only 34 detached houses. The clients together lost about one billion crowns. H-System's majority owner Petr Smetka spent 12 years in prison for having unlawfully siphoned off assets from the firm.

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