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Former Prague Castle Guard commander acquitted of fraud charges

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Prague, April 25 (CTK) – A Prague district court acquitted former Prague Castle Guard commander Petr Prskavec of fraud charges on Wednesday, but the state attorney appealed against the verdict on the spot.

Prskavec received state subsidies to cover his regular shuttling between Prague and his home town elsewhere in the country although he lived on the outskirts of Prague.

When it was told in September 2016 that he had no right to receive the subsidies, Prskavec paid the sum of about 17,000 crowns. This occurred before the court proceedings were launched.

The court said it was not assessing the moral integrity of Prskavec but only his actions, or that he covered the damage once it was revealed.

The state attorney proposed to impose a fine of 50,000 crowns on Prskavec. According to the attorney, he committed a crime, he allegedly boasted of the fraud and set a bad example for his subordinates.

The attorney conditionally halted the prosecution after Prskavec covered the damage, but Prskavec rejected this and wanted the court to declare that he merely made a mistake. The trial started last autumn.

The Prague Castle Guard has about 600 soldiers and some 50 other employees. The soldiers guard the Prague Castle and the Lany chateau near Prague, which are the seats of the Czech president.

Prskavec was the commander of the Guard for nearly one year. He replaced Radim Studeny in the post. Studeny was sacked in October 2015 after a group of political activists climbed a castle building and replaced the presidential flag flying above the roof with huge red trunks.

In March 2017, Jiri Kyvala was appointed the new commander of the Guard. Kyvala took part in the military mission in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

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