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Czech bodies halt coal tycoon’s prosecution over lack of evidence

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Prague, Dec 29 (CTK) – The Prague High State Attorney´s office has halted the prosecution of coal magnate Pavel Tykac for suspected illegal siphoning of 1.2 billion crowns worth of assets from CS Funds in 1996 and 1997, over a lack of evidence, state attorney Zdenek Matula wrote on the Internet Tuesday.

Matula wrote no evidence was submitted to prove that the crime was committed by Tykac. That is why the prosecution was halted on December 23.

The prosecution of Tykac was halted once before, in 2008, but the Prague City Court gave the green light to the reopening of the proceedings in 2013 as new circumstances of the case had emerged.

However, the relevant witnesses refused to testify and the Supreme Court stated that their previous unofficial testimonies were unusable. A Czech request for foreign legal assistance did not bring any evidence of Tykac´s guilt either, Matula wrote Tuesday.

The legal conditions for filing criminal charges against Tykac thus were not met, he added.

In a statement sent to CTK, Tykac´s defence lawyer Jan Chudomel said the defence expected the halt to the prosecution, as the new witnesses were untrustworthy and an alleged written piece of evidence turned out to be a fake.

The testimony against Tykac was made up by a gang of fraudsters who unsuccessfully tried to blackmail him, Chudomel said.

The case was reopened based on the testimony that entrepreneur Frantisek Busek gave in a different trial in 2012. He said he had helped Tykac siphon off assets from CS Funds.

Busek testified repeatedly because he did not face prosecution himself, as his involvement in the case had become statute-barred. He described his role in covering up the illegal flows of money and the way the fraud was organised by Tykac.

Tykac dismissed Busek´s testimony as a lie.

The police proposed the filing of criminal charges against Tykac this April.

The disputed transaction took place in 1997, when 1.23 billion crowns were transferred from CS Funds to the Umana developer. In exchange, CS Funds gained shares in the Drubez Prisovice company, whose market value, however, was only 10 percent of the above sum. After several transfers, the money ended in bank accounts abroad.

In early 1997, CS Funds was controlled by the Motoinvest company co-owned by Tykac.

Tykac repeatedly dismissed all accusations and insisted on being a victim of blackmail.

Courts imposed four prison sentences for the CS Funds fraud in the late 2000s. Umana´s executives Josef Matoulek and Vladislav Nad were sentenced to eight and five years, respectively. Another Umana employee, Tomas Roith, and Vaclav Vojtisek, who headed the CS Fund investment firm´s board of directors, were sentenced to four years each.

The media estimate the property of Tykac, 51, at 30 billion crowns.

In the past, he acquired a 40 percent stake in Mostecka uhelna, the Czech second largest brown coal producer. He gained full control of the company in 2011, paying about 19 billion crowns for it.

Besides, Tykac invests in real estate.

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