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Forgive and forget?

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Last week Mladá fronta Dnes discovered a convicted fraudster holding high office at the Finance Ministry. Radek Šnábl, head of the Finance Ministry’s international legal department, was convicted of getting a CZK 5.5 million VAT back on a fictitious transaction in 1999. Šnábl was sentenced to a two-year suspeded sentence in April this year and he offered his resignation to the then Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, who refused it. Kalousek told Mf Dnes that the offence Šnábl committed was incomparable to the billions he saved the Czech Republic in arbitrations.

Current Czech legislations does not require for convicted criminals to be obliged to leave public service as long as their superiors vouch for them. Following the recent press coverage of the case Šnábl handed in his resignation and Finance Minister Eduard Janota accepted it saying that Šnábl will continue to cooperate closely with the ministry.

Šnábl maintains he is innocent.

• Is saving a lot of money good enough reason to employ a criminal?
• How can a superior vouch for his employee?
• Should state give another chance at the tax-payer’s expense?

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