Olomouc, North Moravia, May 2 (CTK) – Czech state attorneys brought criminal charges against six men on Tuesday within the case of the MUS coal mining company’s suspicious privatisation, state attorney Petr Sereda told CTK, adding that the suspects are a former deputy minister and five MUS ex-managers.

The case ranks among the biggest in the Czech Republic in terms of size and complexity.

The five former managers, Antonin Kolacek, Marek Cmejla, Jiri Divis, Oldrich Klimecky and Petr Kraus, are suspected of illegal siphoning off money from MUS and a fraudulent takeover of the company.

Former deputy industry minister Robert Sykora is suspected of bribe taking.

The anti-corruption police investigated the case for several years. The Prague Municipal Court will deal with it now, Sereda said.

The former managers have been charged with fraud and insider trading, for which they may face up to ten years in prison.

According to the website of the Olomouc High State Attorney’s Office, they are suspected of transferring assets from MUS via foreign companies and of purchasing state shares in MUS for a price strikingly disadvantageous for the state under unlawful circumstances.

The ex-managers have pleaded not guilty since the beginning.

Sykora may face up to eight years in prison for taking bribes in connection with the preparation of the documents for the government’s decision on the sale of MUS shares.

Originally, eight people were prosecuted over the deal. The sixth suspicious manager, Lubos Mekota, died in 2013, and the prosecution of Pavel Musela, former lobbyist and armament dealer suspected of bribing a state attorney, was stopped by the court for health reasons.

The case has also been in focus of the Swiss judiciary. In late 2013, a court in Bellinzona imposed prison sentences from 16 months to 52 months on the five managers, who appealed the verdict.

The Czech authorities have been watching the Swiss procedure because the suspects cannot be parallelly tried for the same crime in both countries. It will depend on which of the courts involved will decide faster.

Czech attorneys say the fraudulent MUS privatisation caused damage of 3.2 billion crowns at least to the Czech Republic.

In the autumn 2012, the police blocked the suspects’ property and they continued freezing more of it, including real estate, in the following years. The value of the frozen property exceeds 2.7 billion crowns, the state attorneys have written.

Sereda confirmed that the case is one of the biggest the Czech judiciary has ever dealt with.

The file contains 25,000 pages plus further material, Sereda said, adding that it was necessary to gain pieces of evidence from Switzerland, the British Isle of Man, Liechtenstein and Cyprus in order to map the flows of money and shares.