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MfD: Court wants Rath’s case to be further investigated

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Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – The Regional Court in Prague has ordered an additional investigation into the second branch of the case of David Rath, former lawmaker and Central Bohemia governor, on Monday, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Thursday, referring to the court’s spokeswoman Pavlina Bockova.

MfD writes that Bockova refused to state the reasons. She said the decision must first be announced to the persons concerned.

This part of the case concerns manipulation of public orders in Central Bohemia and regional hospitals. Detectives have proposed that nine people and eight firms be charged in it.

Some lawyers of the charged persons think that the decision may be connected with that the court of appeals said the wiretappings used in the first branch of Rath’s case were illegal allegedly because of an insufficient justification of the orders for them, and therefore unusable, MfD writes.

Wiretappings made in offices and houses also constitute an important piece of evidence in the case of manipulation of tenders in hospitals.

Other lawyers point out that an amendment to the law on the criminal liability of legal entities has taken effect. Its critics objected already when it was being passed that it gives firms a chance of clearing themselves of any guilt and that some cases, which have already been handled, may end, MfD writes.

According to investigators, the persons charged in the second branch of Rath’s case demanded bribes for a total of 66.4 million crowns, out of which they took over 3.4 million crowns.

The case concerns the reconstruction or construction of hospital pavilions in Kladno, Mlada Boleslav and Kolin, all central Bohemia, and the supply of ambulances to the central Bohemian rescue service. The contracts were worth a total of more than 700 million crowns.

In the first branch of the corruption case, the Regional Court in Prague found Rath guilty of bribe taking and sentenced him to 8.5 years in prison in July 2015. The verdict is not yet valid.

Rath is connected with the alleged criminal activities of Katerina Pancova (now Kottova), former director of the Kladno hospital, and her partner, Petr Kott, former lawmaker for the Civic Democrats (ODS), who were both sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.

Suspicious construction contracts concerned the modernisation of central Bohemian hospitals and the reconstruction of the Bustehrad Chateau in the Kladno vicinity.

The verdict in the first branch of the case, in which 11 people were charged, was cancelled by the Prague High Court over illegal wiretappings before Christmas.

Justice Minister Robert Pelikan is preparing to file a complaint against this with the Supreme Court.

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