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Altner confirms filing distraint petition against ČSSD

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Prague, April 23 (CTK) – Former lawyer Zdenek Altner filed a distraint petition against the Czech senior ruling Social Democratic Party (CSSD), which is to pay him 338 million crowns for legal services based on a valid court verdict, on Friday, he told CTK in a press release Saturday.
The step was mentioned by Saturday’s issue of daily Lidove noviny (LN).
The CSSD has as yet been reluctant to pay the sum and it wants to meet the claims of Altner’s creditors who have already turned to it.
The party’s lawyers say they had a strategy ready for this case and that the distraint will be no serious problem for the CSSD.
Altner wrote that he originally did not want to propose the distraint quickly in order not to give the Supreme Court (NS), with which the CSSD filed a petition for an appellate review and asked it for an adjournment of the enforcement of the verdict of the Prague Municipal Court, a reason to quickly comply with the party’s proposal.
However, the NS asked the Prague 1 district court for the file still before the 30-day deadline by which Altner was to comment on the appellate review.
“The Supreme Court threatened the credit of its independence with its illegal procedure,” Altner wrote in the press release.
Alena Novotna, spokeswoman for the Prague 1 district court, told CTK on Thursday that the court sent the file to the NS.
She said the court does not have to wait for Altner’s comment even it regularly does this.
“In view of the illegal procedure by the Supreme Court, I had no other possibility of defending my rights of a creditor but to file a petition for distraint against the CSSD,” Altner said.
“I also consider Social Democrat chairman Bohuslav Sobotka’s original promise that the party will pay the sum to be binding,” Altner said.
Jiri Chvojka, media representative of the law office that represents the CSSD, told CTK this morning that the party would not be surprised if Altner filed a distraint petition.
“It was one of the risks with which the CSSD’s lawyers counted when they chose the given legal strategy,” Chvojka said.
The CSSD is reluctant to pay directly to Altner based on the court verdict because his creditors, whom he owes up to 20 million crowns, have turned to it. It started to meet the claims on Wednesday.
The CSSD says it is afraid that if it transferred the money to Altner’s Swiss account, it would lose it irreversibly even if the NS later found its claim justified, partly at least.
Altner recently won a years-long lawsuit with the CSSD which he represented in a dispute for Lidovy dum, its seat in Prague centre.
The court decided that the CSSD must pay Altner 18.5 million crowns for his representing it in its dispute for the ownership of Lidovy dum, its seat in Prague centre, in the late 1990s plus a contractual fine worth 318 million.
The huge fine arises from the extreme length of the court dispute, or 5,734 days from the filing of the lawsuit by Altner until the definitive court verdict last month.
Last week, Altner attempted to prevent the CSSD from handling the money in its accounts with a proposal for a preliminary injunction, but he failed twice for formal reasons.
($1=24.014 crowns)

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