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High Court cancels Dalík’s verdict over legal qualification

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Prague, April 27 (CTK) – The Czech Supreme Court (NS) has cancelled the prison sentence given to lobbyist Marek Dalik after it complied with his as well as Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman’s petition for an appellate review and returned the case to the Prague High Court, Frantisek Pury said yesterday.

Pury, NS criminal division’s head, said the appeals court will have to again review the legal qualification based on which Dalik was convicted.

The Prague High Court sentenced Dalik to four years in prison for an attempted fraud.

Pury said the court can reduce, uphold or tighten the sentence.

Pury said Dalik can still be sentenced for an attempted fraud. However, the appeals court made a mistake when it did not sufficiently deal with whether the law valid since 2010, or the previous applies to Dalik.

“As far as the body of the crime is concerned, the Supreme Court does not challenge it in its decision,” Pury said.

The Supreme State Attorney’s Office, in its petition for an appellate review, did not agree with the exceptional lowering of the sentence below the legal rate, which is five to ten years in prison.

The state attorneys say Dalik attempted to get a huge amount of money from the arms makers in a sophisticated way.

“We will be striving for the same qualification that the High Court in Prague used in its original decision, and we will also demand a tightening of the punishment,” Lenka Bradacova, Prague High State Attorney, told public Czech Television (CT) in reaction to the NS’s decision.

Police investigated Dalik, former adviser to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS), based on the testimony of a former employee of the Steyr armament making firm.

The witness said in March 2011 that Dalik demanded 18 million euros for the continued purchase of Pandur armoured personnel carriers by the Czech Republic.

Dalik was eventually convicted of cheating when he pretended being able to influence the contract for which he attempted to get money from the armament makers.

It was not proved that the bribe would have been demanded by a government member.

Dalik denied any wrongdoing.

The Supreme Court cancelled the verdict on April 12 and released Dalik from the prison in Znojmo, south Moravia. He spent about seven months in prison.

The purchase of Pandurs worth 20.8 billion crowns was approved by the government of Jiri Paroubek (then Social Democrats, CSSD) in 2006. At the end of 2007, Topolanek’s government quit the order citing a breach of the contractual conditions by Steyr. Half a year later, it made a decision on a new contract, under which the country bought 107 Pandurs for 14.4 billion crowns.

($1=24.735 crowns)

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