Prague, May 3 (CTK) – The Czech police accused three people and a firm of abuse of power, irregular public procurement and breach of trust on Wednesday in connection with the Education Ministry’s programmes of the state subsidising sports, Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradacova has written on the Internet.
The detained suspects include Czech Football Association (FACR) chairman Miroslav Pelta, iSport.cz and Seznam.cz have written and the FACR confirmed the information.
According to CTK’s information, Prague City assemblyman Karel Brezina (Social Democrats, CSSD) is among those detained, as is Sona Faberova, head of the City Hall’s sports department, according to iROZHLAS.cz.
A fellow city assemblyman from the Pirates party told CTK that Brezina was taken away by two plainclothes police and his and Faberova’s offices were searched.
“We suppose the raid to be linked to grants [distributed] by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports,” he said.
Seznam.cz reported the detention of Miroslav Jansta, an influential lawyer and head of the Czech Sports Union (CUS).
According to Seznam.cz, the raids are connected with the 80-million-crown reconstruction of the Friendship Stadium in Prague, ahead of which the City Hall, Jansta’s CUS and Pelta’s FACR swapped with each other plots and buildings in Prague-Strahov in 2014.
The suspects face prosecution each for different crimes, Bradacova wrote.
The police from the National Centre Against Organised Crime (NCOZ) searched various premises across the country, including the Prague seats of the Education Ministry and of FACR, this morning.
The ministry’s spokeswoman Jarmila Balazova confirmed the police’s presence and said the ministry provided all necessary assistance to them.
According to Aktualne.cz, the police took the deputy education minister in charge of sports, Simona Kratochvilova, to a police station for questioning.
The ministry annually spends about 10 billion crowns on subsidies to sports. Most of the sum goes to football, which receives 526 million, including 380 million for FACR, 70 million for the national teams and 110 million for talented youth.
According to iSport.cz, the police also searched the seats of CUS in Prague and of a football club owned by Pelta in Jablonec nad Nisou, north Bohemia.
The punishment the suspects might face, if found guilty, would depend on more factors including the damage inflicted.
The Czech law punishes abuse of power with up to five years in prison, but even up to 12 years in the case of high damage.
Making a bargain in public procurement carries up to three years in prison, but up to ten years for officials who granted advantages in exchange for property or other benefit.
Breach of trust carries two to eight years in prison, depending on the damage inflicted.