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Czech senior official detained over EU money fraud

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rague, Dec 14 (CTK) – The police have detained Vladimir Bartl, director of a Czech Industry and Trade Ministry department, in the case of the fraud with EU subsidies within the North-West Regional Operational Programme (ROP), the server said on Wednesday.

The detention was indirectly confirmed by Industry and Trade Ministry spokesman Frantisek Kotrba.

“The affair which relates to Bartl who is in charge of a section is likely to relate to his work before he joined the Industry and Trade Ministry,” Kotrba said.

“This is why the ministry will not comment on it,” Kotrba said.

Bartl (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) was the mayor of Most, North Bohemia, between 2001 and 2006 .

The North-West cohesion region encompasses two of the Czech Republic’s 14 self-rule regions – Usti nad Labem and Karlovy Vary.

The Czech police suspect 24 people of misusing EU subsidies. They include Jana Vanhova (Social Democrats, CSSD), former governor of the Usti Region, and other CSSD regional politicians.

The suspects also include Jiri Cervinka, who was interim head of the North-West Regional Operational Programme (ROP) Office in 2011.

Vanhova, 61, who was Usti Region Governor in 2008-2012, was simultaneously a member of the North-West cohesion region council, which had the final say on distributing EU subsidies among local projects.

From 2012 to October 2016, she was deputy governor of the Usti Region.

Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradacova said on Wednesday the police were still detaining nine out of the 24 defendants in this case.

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