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Police suspect three clerks of causing billion-crown damage

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Prague, Aug 25 (CTK) – Czech police have proposed to file charges against three Industry and Trade Ministry clerks over 4.5-billion-crown damage the state suffered due to a deal the ministry and a bank signed in connection with a programme for drawing EU subsidies, Jaroslav Ibehej told CTK today.

The ministry and the Bohemian-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (CMZRB) signed the deal to establish a guarantee fund within the Enterprises and Innovations operational programme 2007-2013, Ibehej, spokesman for the National Centre Against Organised Crime (NCOZ), said.

The NCOZ launched the prosecution last September.

The three are suspected of causing damage worth 2.72 billion crowns and 1.83 billion crowns to the Czech state and the EU, respectively, Ibehej said.

They have been prosecuted for breach of trust and harming the financial interest of the EU, he said.

The case will be supervised by the High State Attorney’s Office in Prague, Ibehej added.

In 2007-2010, credit guarantees for entrepreneurs were granted by the CMZRB, in which the state owned a two-third stake then.

The CMZRB used 5.7 billion crowns from the European operational programme Enterprise and Innovations to grant guarantees within two Guarantee and Progress programmes.

However, the CMZRB obtained the money for the guarantees without a tender, though one-third stake in it was held by Ceska sporitelna and Komercni banka – both private banks that provided guaranteed credits most often of all.

Brussels described the flaws in the Czech granting of guarantees in its control report in 2011.

After three years of negotiations, the Czech Republic consented to pay 1.83 billion crowns worth a fine for the Guarantee programme.

($1=22.106 crowns)


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