Prague, June 7 (CTK) – The Czech senior government Social Democrats (CSSD) need not pay 337 million crowns to their former lawyer Altner for his services yet since the Supreme Court has postponed the verdict’s enforceability until it decides on the party’s appellate review, Jiri Chvojka told CTK yesterday.
The Supreme Court (NS) met the CSSD’s request, said Chvojka, media representative of the law office that represents the CSSD.
“This is naturally a good piece of news for us. But it is only one of the steps. We will wait for the court to deal with our petition for an appellate review and how it decides,” Chvojka told CTK, adding the CSSD’s lawyers believe they will succeed with their defence.
By postponing the enforceability of the verdict, the Supreme Court says people should not pay their debts ensuing from contracts, Altner told in reaction to the NS’s decision.
Altner helped the CSSD successfully defend its ownership of its Lidovy dum headquarters in Prague centre in the late 1990s. The contract from 1997 granted him a contractual reward worth 10 percent of the lucrative real estate’s value if he succeeded in pushing through the party’s claim to it.
The Prague Municipal Court recently ruled that the Social Democrats must pay 18.5 million to Altner for his services in the dispute about the party’s former seat plus a contractual fine of 318 million for a 5734-day delay.
The CSSD filed a petition for appellate review, in which it proposed that the verdict enforceability be postponed. The Supreme Court accepted it and it is yet to deal with the appellate review.
Altner has already filed a distraint petition against the CSSD.
The enforceability of the court verdict is the main condition for opening distraint proceedings against the CSSD for which Altner was striving.
“All steps have been halted or interrupted for the moment until the Supreme Court rules, which is a more comfortable situation for us,” Chvojka said.
According to CTK information, the Supreme Court only stated that the CSSD might suffer a serious harm. It stressed it would not like to anticipate the decision by the postponement.
The verdict issued by the Prague Municipal Court took effect and was enforceable so far, but the CSSD refused to pay the money to Altner. The Social Democrats are saying that they do not want to send the money to Altner’s Swiss account for fear that if they win the appeals proceedings, they may not get it back.
Instead, the Social Democrats were sending various sums to various institutions to which Altner owed money in the past weeks. So far they have paid 9.5 million crowns to his creditors.
($1=23.805 crowns)