Olomouc, North Moravia, Oct 14 (CTK) – Czech anti-corruption police have proposed filing criminal charges against six protagonists of the suspicious privatisation and mismanagement of the MUS coal mining company in the late 1990s, Petr Sereda, from the Olomouc High State Attorney’s Office, told CTK on Friday.

Out of the six, five are former MUS managers whom the police suspect of illegal siphoning off money from MUS, formerly a state firm, and its subsequent fraudulent takeover.

The sixth protagonist, former deputy industry and trade minister Robert Sykora, is suspected of bribe taking.

Originally, the police prosecuted eight people in the MUS case. Out of them, manager and billionaire Lubos Mekota died in the meantime and the prosecution of Pavel Musela, a lobbyist and armament dealer suspected of bribery, was halted for health reasons this May.

The former MUS managers have also been prosecuted in Switzerland. In autumn 2013, a court in Bellinzona gave them prison sentences ranging from one year and four months to four years and four months. They appealed the verdict, which thus did not take effect.

Czech judiciary has been watching the development of the Swiss prosecution. The suspects cannot be tried for the same offences in both countries. That is why it will depend on which court, whether the Swiss or the Czech one, will rule a verdict sooner.

The Czech police completed the investigation of the MUS case this January, after which the suspects got several months to acquaint themselves with the file.

In view of the extremely thick file of more than 100,000 pages, it is impossible to estimate when the state attorney may decide on whether to file criminal charges, Sereda said.

The suspects are former managers and owners of the MUS north Bohemian brown coal mines Antonin Kolacek, Marek Cmejla, Jiri Divis, Oldrich Klimecky and Petr Kraus. In June 2012, the police accused them of insider trading. The police suspect them of having drawn over 150 million dollars from the state-controlled MUS and using the money to buy MUS shares.

They are also suspected of a fraudulent privatisation of MUS in 1999.

They caused damage worth 1.6 billion crowns, the police say.

Mekota, who was accused together with them, died in 2013.

One year later, accusations were levelled against Sykora and Musela.