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Court acquits Rath’s aide in huge tax evasion case

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Prague, Nov 12 (CTK) – A Czech court acquitted Filip Busina, who was an aide to the Central Bohemian Region´s governor David Rath, of all charges in a case of huge tax evasion and money laundering yesterday, but eight suspects received suspended or prison sentences.
Busina faced up to 10 years in prison for suspected organising of the criminal activity. According to the prosecution, he was in charge of the group and that he took over bribes in cash.
Busina told journalists that the case has not ended yet.
“The high court will decide,” he said, adding that the state attorney was likely to appeal the verdict.
The state attorney, Sona Belohlavkova, who proposed 7.5 years in prison for Busina, confirmed that she was going to appeal.
Tax evasion of more than 600 million crowns was organised using firms without employees represented by stooges and fictitious invoices for advertising services.
Belohlavkova said the police wiretappings that proved the crime could not be used in the court proceedings as pieces of evidence.
Busina pleaded innocent. He said none of the accusations against him was proved in the court proceeding that lasted about one year.
Judge Robert Pacovsky said the court did not find evidence that would enable the description of particular actions and participation in criminal activities by Busina and some other suspects.
The suspects include representatives of the sham firms and employees of the financial administration.
Pacovsky also dealt with the corruption case of former regional governor Rath, whose assistant Busina was. He dealt with Rath´s case first because some of the suspects in this case were in pre-trial custody.
In July, Rath was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for manipulating public tenders and bribe taking. Rath appealed the verdict and the high court will be deciding on his case.
($1=25.218 crowns)

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