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Minister files complaint against cancellation of Rath verdict

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Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) – Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) has filed a complaint against the court decision to cancel the verdict in the case of former influential politician David Rath that found him guilty of corruption and sent to prison, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Tereza Schejbalova told CTK on Thursday.

The Supreme Court (NS) will assess the complaint.

The Regional Court sentenced Rath, former Social Democrat (CSSD) lawmaker (2006-2012), Central Bohemia governor (2008-2012) and health minister (2005-2006), to 8.5 years in prison and the forfeiture of some 20 million crowns for corruption in July 2015.

The Prague High Court cancelled the verdict in the case of Rath and other ten people due to the unlawful use of wiretappings last autumn. It returned the case to the Regional Court that cannot use the wiretapping recordings as evidence in new proceedings.

Pelikan argues in his complaint that the High Court had no reason for returning the case for reappraisal.

State attorneys do not agree with the reasons for cancelling the verdict either.

Rath was found guilty of bribery linked to the manipulated orders worth 16 million crowns. The verdict was based on police wiretappings and a confession by businesswoman Ivana Salacova who was also charged in the case.

The trial of Rath lasted two years and he delivered his final speech for three days. Rath pleaded not guilty and appealed the verdict.

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