The Czech government has moved, not for the first time, to try and regulate lobbying. The country at the moment is one of the handful in Europe that had no specific set of rules governing what lobbyists can do and how various decision makers, whether they are elected politicians or civil servants, can interact with them.
Criminal charges have been filed against a judge at Prague’s Supreme
Court. Ivan Elischer is accused of bribe taking, abuse of office and
preferential treatment, the chairman of the court’s panel told
journalists. Mr. Elischer has been at the court since 2013 and specialises
in serious drug cases.
He was arrested by the police’s national organised crime unit in a raid at the court building on Tuesday moring. Neither the police nor the state attorney’s office have revealed any details about the matter.
The Czech Republic’s position on the Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International slightly improved in 2017. The country moved two rungs up the ladder to 42nd place, acquiring 57 points out of a maximum possible 100. David Ondráčka of Transparency’s Czech branch told Radio Prague that the improvement was only slight and the country should aim to do better.
The Czech Republic has slightly improved its standing in watchdog
Transparency Internationals’ annual Corruption Perception Index for 2017.
Under TI’s criteria, the country picked up 57 points compared to 55 in 2016. The country has moved to 42nd spot in the worldwide rankings, but it still lags behind the EU average by eight points.
In Europe, the Czech Republic climbed to 18th spot from last year’s 19th, but still found itself behind all of the Baltic States and Poland.
Transparency International’s annual Index has rated countries by perceived levels of corruption since 1995 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean.
The Czech branch of the watchdog Transparency International has assessed
the openness of the nine presidential candidates as regards their campaign
financing. It gave the worst marks to current head of state, Miloš Zeman,
saying that he had not revealed details of sponsors or the nature of his
spending so far. Other candidates place high in the polls also had flaws in
their reporting but these were not so great, the report, placed on the
watchdog’s website said.
Candidates face a spending limit of 30 million crowns in the first round with another 10 billion to be spent in the second, if needed.
The police’s anti-corruption squad has recommended 18 people be charged
for large-scale tax evasion connected to diesel and gas transactions
between 2010 and 2011. The fuels were bought in Germany and Austria but the
VAT allegedly went unpaid; damages have been estimated at 1.4 billion
The news was confirmed by the spokesman for the National Centre Against Organised crime Jaroslav Ibehej.
The first stage of the Czech presidential elections is reaching its climax with voting taking place this Friday and Saturday. The nine candidates seeking to become head of state will be trying to get their final messages through in the next days and that’s likely to mean a rush to the campaign coffers where some are, apparently, more equal and open to scrutiny than others.
The General Inspectorate of the Security Services on Tuesday launched a
series of raids in Prague in connection with the alleged influencing of
criminal proceedings. The Czech News Agency said that officers from the
inspectorate, which polices the police, had carried out searches of the
premises of law firms. One was reported to be on Wenceslas Square.
The news site Novinky.cz said that several civilians and members of the security services had been arrested. Another news site, Aktuálně.cz, reported that four of those detained were police officers.
The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor member states’ compliance with the organization’s anti-corruption standards, is currently holding a two-day conference in Prague. Its aim is to highlight the main trends and the lessons learned from GRECO’s Fourth Evaluation Round of the Czech Republic’s anti-corruption drive.
Lobbyist Marek Dalík has until November 6 to begin serving a five year
prison sentence, the spokeswoman for Prague's Municipal Court has
confirmed. Mr Dalík, she said, was expected at Ruzyně prison at the
latest at four pm on the 6th, a Monday.
Mr Dalík, a former close aid to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek, was sentenced to prison in July for soliciting a bribe over a military deal.