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Croat police arrest IT expert Hojer wanted by Prague

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Prague, April 17 (CTK) – The police in Croatia have arrested Milan Hojer, former head of the Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry’s IT department, whom Prague suspects of extortion and who has evaded criminal proceedings, Prague Municipal Court spokeswoman Marketa Puci told CTK on Tuesday.

The court issued a warrant for Hojer’s arrest last November.

He, together with former deputy minister Vladimir Siska, have been charged with extortion of the OKsystem company.

Some time ago, Hojer started to shun the court sessions without any excuse, ceased to accept letters from the judiciary and his defence lawyer lost contact with him.

“The accused Hojer was detained in Omis based on an European arrest warrant on April 4, 2018,” Puci said.

Hojer is waiting for extradition to the Czech Republic, where the court will decide on whether to take him into custody.

Judge Petr Novak has decided to deal with Hojer’s case separately from Siska’s, since Hojer faces another court proceeding in Chomutov, north Bohemia, where he previously received a suspended prison sentence for stealing tablets in restaurants. The verdict is not definitive, according to media.

OKsystem, a software firm, previously supplied four information systems to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. In 2011, however, the ministry signed a contract with another supplier, Fujitsu Technology Solutions, without putting up a tender.

OKsystem challenged the step with the anti-monopoly office UOHS. Siska and Hojer allegedly wanted OKsystem’s executive to withdraw the complaint in exchange for placing a 100-million-crown order with the firm.

The affair toppled labour minister Jaromir Drabek (TOP 09) in October 2012.

The Prague Municipal Court is dealing with the Siska-Hojer case for the third time. First, it imposed six- and five-year prison sentences on them for abuse of power and extortion. The second verdict raised the sentences by one year for both.

In both cases, the appeals court cancelled the verdict. Last time, the appeals court asked the municipal court to deal with the damage incurred.

Hojer previously pleaded not guilty. He said he discussed only technical affairs with OKsystem, like other suppliers and always told them that he had no decision-making authorisation.

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