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 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 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.
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.
Prague’s Municipal Court has sent a summons to lobbyist Marek Dalík, a
former close aid to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek – to begin serving
his prison sentence. In July, Mr Dalík was sentenced to five years in
prison for soliciting a bribe over a military deal.
He also has to pay a four million crown fine or he would spend an additional two years behind bars. Mr Dalík could still file a complaint with the Supreme Court but the process would not delay the start of his sentence.
The Prague Regional Court will begin a second trial of former top politician David Rath in October, Czech Television reported on Tuesday, quoting the court’s website. The same institution found Mr. Rath guilty of bribe-taking two years ago but he was freed by an appeals court, which ruled that wiretaps used to prosecute the one-time Social Democrat health minister and regional governor were inadmissible. Since then the Supreme Court has ruled such recordings can be used as evidence. Mr. Rath was originally sentenced to eight and a half years for allegedly taking kick-backs to rig public contracts.