Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) – Pavel Fantys, a Czech convicted for rigging Bingo, a game organised by Nova TV commercial broadcaster, was caught in the USA recently, 22 years after his Czech trial, server Aktualne.cz has reported.
In the mid-1990s, a court found Fantys guilty of heading a seven-member gang that used a computer fraud to siphon off at least 27 million crowns from the Bingo game.
Fantys fled abroad in late 1995, and only later a Czech court sentenced him in absentia to five years in prison.
With Fantys re-arrested now, the court will discuss his case once more from the beginning at his own request.
Interpol detained Fantys in the USA in late July, Aktualne.cz writes.
In August, he was transferred to the Czech Republic where he immediately applied for the judiciary to deal with his case anew.
“On September 12, the Prague Municipal Court complied with the suspect’s proposal and cancelled the previous convicting verdicts,” its spokeswoman Marketa Puci said.
Fantys is waiting for a new trial in a custody facility.
Originally, the Prague court imposed sentences from five to seven years on the gang’s members, but the verdict was repeatedly cancelled by an appeals court.
Finally, Fantys’s accomplices received suspended sentences, a verdict the appeals upheld in 2005. The new proceedings will not involve the six accomplices.
According to law, the new verdict for Fantys must not be tougher than the original one.
The courts previously stated that Fantys adjusted a computer programme for drawing winners in the Bingo game broadcast by Nova TV. As a result, beforehand-chosen lots were repeatedly drawn instead of randomly chosen ones.
Fantys had bought the “winning” lots in advance and sought fictitious owners for them in exchange for a commission.