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Police complete Mostecká uhelná case investigation

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Olomouc, North Moravia, Jan 29 (CTK) – The Czech anti-corruption police have completed the investigation into the extensive case of the suspicious privatisation of the Mostecka uhelna splecnost (MUS) coal-mining firm, state attorney Petr Sereda confirmed for CTK Friday.

Seven people, including five former managers, have been prosecuted on suspicion of siphoning off assets from the MUS and the fraudulent gaining control of it since 2012.

Sereda, from the High State Attorney’s Office in Olomouc, said charges against the suspects will probably be brought by the mid-year.

Sereda said the case file is exceptionally extensive, having dozens fo thousands of pages.

The former MUS managers and owners of the mines, Antonin Kolacek, Marek Cmejla, Jiri Divis, Oldrich Klimecky and Petr Kraus, were accused of abuse of information and position in business relations in June 2012.

The police suspect them of having siphoned off 150 million crowns from the MUS that they used to buy MUS shares. They are also suspected of fraud in the privatisation of the firm in 1999.

The state attorney says they caused the state damage worth 1.6 billion crowns.

Billionaire Lubos Mekota, who was also accused in the case, died in 2013.

The former MUS bosses have been dismissing any wrongdoing since the very beginning.

The case is also treated by the Swiss judiciary. The court in Bellinzona imposed prison sentences ranging from one year and four months to four years and four months in the autumn of 2013 on the former managers for fraud and money laundering. They have appealed the verdict.

Besides the former managers, also Robert Sykora, former deputy industry minister, has been prosecuted in the case for bribe taking and armament trader Pavel Musela for bribe giving.

According to the state attorney, their prosecution is connected with the government’s decision-making on the sale of MUS shares.

At the end of 2012, the police froze the suspects’ property and it continued last year, too, when several hundreds of millions of crowns were frozen to a company that plays a role in the case.

Two properties in Prague centre, owned by coal magnate Kolacek, were also frozen.

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