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Czech Energy Regulatory Office head accused of power abuse

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Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – The anti-corruption police accused yesterday Czech Energy Regulatory Office (ERU) chairwoman Alena Vitaskova of abuse of power and breach of trust over the appointment of the former supreme state attorney, Renata Vesecka, as ERU deputy head, Jaroslav Ibehej has said.
The ERU does not agree with the police steps and Vitaskova is not considering her resignation, ERU spokesman Jiri Chvojka said.
According to the police, Vitaskova has violated the energy law and caused damage of one million crowns at least by appointing Vesecka in the newly established post, anti-corruption police spokesman Ibehej added.
Vitaskova appointed Vesecka as ERU deputy head on November 4, 2014.
“Detectives have concluded that she [Vitaskova] thereby acted completely at variance with the energy law since Renata Vesecka did not meet the legal conditions for the execution of the post of an ERU deputy head – that is a seven-year practice in the energy field minimally, at least three of which must be in a managing position,” Ibehej said.
Vesecka worked as a defence lawyer first and she occupied the post of the supreme state attorney in 2005-2010.
Both ERU and Vitaskova reiterated in the past that Vesecka met the conditions since she had dealt with cases related to the energy industry in her previous post.
Vitaskova will file a complaint against the accusations, Chvojka told CTK.
“We consider it the continuation of the state attorney’s desperate effort to justify the May intervention in the office,” he added.
In May, the anti-corruption police intervened in the ERU branches looking for Vesecka’s letter of appointment. However, the police also took away computer data and various documents from the ERU offices.
The ERU released the letter of appointment to the police, but Vitaskova called the behaviour of the supervisory state attorney Kamil Spelda “mobbing the ERU.” Vesecka reacted in a similar way calling the police raid “a farce.”
This is why the ERU and Vitaskova filed a constitutional complaint against the police steps in late July.
Vitaskova is prosecuted without being taken into custody. Her case is supervised by the District State Attorney’s Office in Jihlava, south Moravia.
The damage level she caused is estimated on the basis of the salary that Vesecka received in the new post and the obligatory health and social insurance payments that the employer pays for employees.
The calculation makes no sense since no intention to enrich oneself or harm anyone can be seen behind it, Chvojka said.
“No crime was committed. The ERU deputy chairwoman was appointed in compliance with law,” Chvojka pointed out.
He added that despite the latest developments, Vitaskova was not considering resigning from her post. “The more they are trying to harm her, the more determined she is to resist the pressure and not to let herself be intimidated,” he added.
In another case, Vitaskova faces charges in connection with the construction of two solar power plants in Chomutov, north Bohemia. The ERU issued an operation licence for them under unclear circumstances and Vitaskova confirmed it though she allegedly knew that the matter was controversial.
($1=24.189 crowns)

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