Prague, April 11 (CTK) – The Czech police on Wednesday proposed to charge former regional governor David Rath with manipulating public tenders of the Central Bohemia Region and hospitals ran by the regional authorities worth over 700 million crowns in total, the supervising state attorney Jiri Prazak told CTK.
This is the second branch of the corruption case of Rath who was a Social Democrat (CSSD) lawmaker (2006-2012), Central Bohemia governor (2008-2012) and health minister (2005-2006).
In the first branch of the case, Rath was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison and the forfeiture of 20 million crowns for corruption in 2015, however, this verdict was later cancelled due the unlawful use of wiretapping. But as the Supreme Court later decided that the wiretappings can be used, new court proceedings started and the verdict on Rath is to be issued on June 27.
The second branch of the case was returned to the police over the use of wiretappings last year. Prazak said neither the number of suspects nor the classification of the crimes changed after the police again proposed charges of Rath and his accomplices.
Prazak said it is still unclear how long it would take him to send the case to court again. He may also make a different decision, he said.
Within the second branch, nine people and eight firms, including the Metrostav construction company, were involved in the corruption, according to the police. Rath and his accomplices Petr Kott and Katerina Kottova are suspected of demanding bribes of 66.4 million crowns for contracts for construction projects in the hospitals in Kladno, Mlada Boleslav and Kolin and for supplies of ambulance vehicles to the Central Bohemian Emergency Service.
Rath, the Kott couple and two other people are suspect in both branches of the case.
In the first branch concerning modernisation of hospitals and reconstruction of the Bustehrad chateau and the Hostivice grammar school, 11 people have been charged.
According to the prosecution, the Kott couple tailored tenders declared by the regional authorities to “big players” with Rath’s consent. One of the bidders was advantaged in exchange for a bribe, while the other firms played the role of false competitors. Rath and the Kotts received bribes of 38 million crowns. The police caught Rath red-handed.
Rath has pleaded innocent from the beginning.