Prague, Sept 1 (CTK) – Czech lobbyist Marek Dalik, former close aide to PM Mirek Topolanek (2006-2009), turned up in the Prague-Ruzyne prison yesterday to start serving the four-year sentence a court imposed on him in connection with the purchase of Pandur APCs for the Czech military.
On arrival at the prison, Dalik did not talk to journalists waiting for him.
His case will yet be discussed by the Supreme Court based on his appellate review application.
On Wednesday, Dalik left abroad, which made the media speculate on whether he will turn up in prison by the deadline which was September 1, 16:00.
Dalik arrived about 20 minutes before the deadline.
The Czech police started dealing with the Pandurs case based on the testimony of Stephan Szcucs employee of the Steyr company that produces the Pandurs.
He said in March 2011 that Dalik had asked for an 18-million-euro bribe at an informal meeting in a Prague restaurant in November 2007, pretending having close ties with representatives of the Czech government and being able to influence their decision-making and the order alone.
It was not proven that he had asked for the bribe at the request of anyone from the government.
Earlier this year, a court convicted Dalik of cheating Steyr pretending his power to influence the Pandur deal and thereby trying to draw money from the company.
Dalik pleads not guilty.
The purchase of Pandurs for 20.8 billion crowns was approved by the left-wing government of Jiri Paroubek (Social Democrats, CSSD) in 2006. At the end of 2007, Topolanek’s government said Steyr had violated the conditions of the purchase and it withdrew from it. In 2008 Topolanek’s government put up a new tender, within which the Czech army bought 107 Pandurs for 14.4 billion crowns in 2009.
($1=24.286 crowns)