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Chovanec: Olomouc governor should disclose suspected bribery case

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Prague, Oct 18 (CTK) – Jiri Rozboril (Social Democrats, CSSD), the Olomouc Region governor accused of bribery, should disclose information about his case in public, if the state attorney gives consent to it, by which he could clean his name for now, Interior Minister and CSSD deputy head Milan Chovanec said Sunday.

Rozboril should leave the post of governor and return to it after being acquitted, Chovanec said in a discussion on Prima TV.

In reaction to him, Rozboril said he would disclose the information if the state attorney gave consent to it.

“It is no problem for me, if I am enabled to do it and if the state attorney gives his consent to it,” he told Czech Television later Sunday.

The police accused Rozboril of bribe offering earlier this week. Rozboril pleads not guilty. He refused to step down, and his decision was supported by the CSSD regional leadership in Olomouc, north Moravia, on Friday.

“The only person who can highlight the truth is Rozboril. I hope he will discuss it with the state attorney…If he feels innocent, the only chance how to show it to the public and to CSSD members is [if he provided them with] more information,” Chovanec said.

Rozboril allegedly offered a bribe to the police if they shelved the investigation into a suspicious spending of subsidies to a horse-racing club.

In the Czech Republic, criminal proceedings are not open to the public, except for trials.

According to Chovanec, Rozboril might provide information about his case already now, based on agreement with the state attorney.

The CSSD leadership should discuss this possibility as well. If they reach agreement, they will call on Rozboril to take the step, Chovanec said.

Prime Minister and CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka demanded Rozboril’s resignation on Thursday. He debated the issue with Rozboril and other CSSD members for several hours on Friday but failed to make Rozboril step down.

Chovanec said he does not think that this has weakened Sobotka’s position.

He called on the investigators to act quickly and bring the case to court in six months at the latest.

Pavel Kovacik, head of the Communist (KSCM) group of deputies, said Rozboril’s remaining in the post of governor and the media coverage of the case harm PM Sobotka, the CSSD, and politics as a whole.

The KSCM is the CSSD’s partner in the Olomouc regional government.

Chovanec said it is strange that the state attorney has not invited the General Inspection of the Security Corps (GIBS) to assist in the investigation. If the state attorney shuns the GIBS out of mistrust or due to GIBS’s suspected involvement in the corruption case, personal responsibility should be drawn, Chovanec said.

Sobotka previously said he wants to talk to GIBS head Ivan Bilek.

Several days ago, the police organised crime squad (UOOZ) levelled accusations against four people from the Olomouc region.

Apart from Rozboril, accused of bribe offering, they are the regional police deputy head Karel Kadlec and financial crime section head Radek Petruj, and influential businessman Ivan Kysely.

It ensues from the UOOZ’s information that Kadlec and Petruj face power abuse accusations, and Kadlec is also accused of accepting a bribe, while Kysely is suspected of complicity in power abuse by a public official.

The UOOZ said the suspects influenced the handling of selected criminal cases and marred their investigation by leaking information from the criminal files.

On Tuesday, the police made a series of home searches and detained and questioned several people within the operation codenamed Vidkun, which also focuses on the leadership of the Olomouc regional police, or suspicious links between Kadlec and Kysely, which the GIBS investigated but shelved in the past.

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