Prague, Aug 31 (CTK) – Miloslav Vanek, former general director of the Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs (UZSVM), faces charges of power abuse and breach of trust over E-centrum contracts that might have caused a six-million-crown damage to the state, Marketa Puci said on Thursday.

Puci, spokeswoman for the Prague Municipal Court, said the state attorney filed charges against Vanek last week.

Vanek suspectedly knew that the PR service the UZSVM was buying from the E-Centrum firm were duplicate and redundant because they were identical with the tasks the UZSVM’s public relations department was in charge of.

The UZSVM paid a total of 7.1 million crowns to E-Centrum, of which the company repaid 1.2 million crowns in VAT.

If found guilty, Vanek, 66, might face up to 12 years in prison or property forfeiture.

The UZSVM, supervised by the Finance Ministry, represents the state in court and arbitration proceedings involving state property.

Vanek headed it from 2003 to 2014 when he stepped down.

The police say he repeatedly abused his powers between March 2005 and March 2014 by signing, on his own initiative, several contracts with identical content with the E-Centrum private company.

Based on them, E-Centrum was to provide current services to the UZSVM in public relations, contacts with media and the preparation of documents for media presentations. When initiating the contracts, Vanek knew that these services were unneeded because the same services were among the tasks of the office’s PR department, the police say.

E-Centrum belongs to media magnate Michal Voracek.

After the police levelled accusations against Vanek two years ago, Voracek said his company provided consulting services for the UZSVM within arbitration proceedings. He dismissed having unlawfully siphoned off money from the UZSVM.