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Lobbyist Dalík turns up in jail to serve sentence for fraud

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Prague, Nov 6 (CTK) – Czech lobbyist Marek Dalik turned up in the Prague-Ruzyne prison this afternoon for the second time after a pause, to serve the five-year sentence he received for a fraud accompanying the purchase of Pandur APCs for the military.

Dalik previously served seven months of his sentence before being released pending a new court decision.

He has appealed the new verdict with the Supreme Court (NS) again, but the appeal did not influence his duty to go to prison on Monday, in accordance with the deadline set by the Prague Municipal Court.

Driven to the prison facility by his defence lawyer Radek Smerda, Dalik did not react to questions from journalists asking him about the appeal he filed and about the presidential candidacy announced by his former close aide and former prime minister Mirek Topolanek.

Dalik has pleaded not guilty.

Originally, he was sentenced to four years in prison for having asked for a bribe on behalf of a member of the cabinet at an informal meeting dealing with the Pandurs purchase in November 2007.

According to the prosecution, Dalik asked for half a billion crowns from a representative of the supplier, the Austrian Steyr company.

After Dalik started serving his sentence in mid-2016, the NS cancelled the verdict this spring and Dalik was immediately released. The Prague Court ruled a new definitive and even one-year tougher verdict in July.

It said Dalik committed fraud by trying to lure money from Steyr and misleading the firm by pretending having an influence on the cabinet.

The purchase of 200 Pandurs worth over 20 billion crowns was approved by the cabinet of Jiri Paroubek (then Social Democrats, CSSD) in 2006.

In late 2007, the cabinet of Topolanek (then Civic Democrats, ODS) withdrew from the deal, citing a breach of the contractual conditions by the supplier. Half a year later, nevertheless, it decided on a new supply, the purchase of 107 Pandurs worth 14.4 billion crowns.

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