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Czech News in English » News » National » Justice minister to challenge cancelling verdict in Rath case

Justice minister to challenge cancelling verdict in Rath case

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Prague, Jan 15 (CTK) – Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) will file a complaint with the Supreme Court (NS) against the cancellation of a verdict in the corruption case of former influential politician David Rath, Pelikan said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec TV discussion programme on Sunday.

Last autumn, the Prague High Court cancelled the verdict in the case of Rath, former Social Democrat (CSSD) lawmaker (2006-2012), Central Bohemia governor (2008-2012) and health minister (2005-2006), due to the unlawful use of wiretappings. It returned the case to the Regional Court that cannot use the wiretapping recordings as evidence in new proceedings.

The Regional Court sentenced Rath to 8.5 years in prison and the forfeiture of some 20 million crowns for corruption in July 2015.

Pelikan said on Sunday he would file the complaint in the days to come.

He said previously the procedural mistakes which the High Court criticised had not been made.

State attorneys do not agree with the reasons for cancelling the verdict either.

The Prague High State Attorney’s Office is of the view that the decision to cancel the verdict was unlawful. It said at the end of last year it would prepare a draft complaint against the decision and submit it to the Justice Ministry for assessment.

Rath was found guilty of bribery linked to the manipulated orders worth 16 million crowns. The verdict was based on police wiretappings and a confession by businesswoman Ivana Salacova.

Eleven people were charged in the extensive corruption case.

Along with Rath, Slovak businesswoman Lucia Novanska was given five years in prison and a penalty of 500,000 crowns for organising the manipulated orders.

The court dealt separately with the case of Petr Kott and his wife Katerina Kottova (formerly Pancova) who were each given 7.5 years in prison for plotting corruption and manipulations with contracts.

The trial of Rath lasted two years and he delivered final speech for three days. Rath pleaded not guilty and appealed the verdict.

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