Controversial former Social Democrat minister and head of the Central Bohemian region, David Rath ended his closing address Wednesday in the trial for which he is accused of accepting bribes to rig contracts. Since Monday he had spoken for around 11 hours. Rath at one stage was threatened with a fine by the presiding judge after referring to photos allegedly showing the judge recovering after a drinking spree. Rath could be faced with a prison term of up to 12 years if convicted. The presiding judge said that the verdict will be given on July 23. Previous co-defendants in the same case have already been sentenced in a separate trail. Rath says he is the victim of a police, judicial and political conspiracy.
The corruption trial of David Rath will continue for at least another day after the former politician failed on Tuesday to finish a concluding address that had begun the day before. Mr. Rath’s speech has so far gone on for six hours in total. The former Social Democrat regional governor and health minister was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of accepting bribes to rig contracts. Several others accused alongside him have been found guilty in a separate trial.
Marcela Ondřejová, the lawyer for former Social Democrat MP and governor David Rath, has said that her client be acquitted of corruption charges. In a closing statment on Monday, she told the court that the prosecution's arguments were a mix of conjecture and speculation and charged there was no direct evidence, nor a combination of indirect evidence against her client. Mr Rath is on trial on charges of having taken bribes and of having manipulated public tenders in Central Bohemia. In 2012, he was arrested with a suspected bribe of seven million crowns on his person; if found guilty, he could face a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.
The Czech Republic’s former chief hygiene officer, Michael Vít, has lost an appeal against a three-year suspended sentence for breach of trust. However, the Prague Municipal Court reduced Mr. Vít’s probation period from five to four years. During that time he has to pay the Ministry of Health CZK 1.7 million. Mr. Vít was charged in 2012 with overseeing three rigged tender processes for consultancy services at the ministry.
The president of the Czech Ice Hockey Association says the situation surrounding freshly resigned national team coach Vladimír Růžička has significantly damaged the sport in the country. Mr. Růžička quit on Tuesday after fresh allegations he took bribes to allow their children for the club Slavia Prague. Hockey association chief Tomáš Král said, however, that the affair only concerned one club and several individuals and was not symptomatic of a broader malaise. Mr. Král had backed Mr. Růžička when the first allegations of bribe-taking were made against him, shortly before the Ice Hockey World Championships last month.
Czech national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička has resigned following more allegations that he took bribes while coaching domestic league club Slavia. Mr Růžička’s decision came just hours after Czech Radio reported on Tuesday that the coach had asked several parents for large sums of money to allow their children play in the club. A criminal complaint has already been filed against the coach for bribe-taking, fraud and breach of trust in connection with a sum of CZK 500,000 he is alleged to have accepted from a man to allow his son to play for Slavia Prague. In a statement issued on Tuesday the Czech national coach rejected the allegations saying he wanted to clear his name in court.
Czech national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička is facing more allegations of bribe-taking while coaching domestic league club Slavia, Czech Radio reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Mr Růžička asked several parents for large sums of money to allow their children play for the club. The Czech national coach has refused to comment on the accusations. A criminal complaint of corruption has already been filed against the coach for bribe-taking, fraud and breach of trust in connection with a sum of CZK 500,000 he is alleged to have accepted from a man to allow his son to play for Slavia Prague.
Charges against notorious Czech lobbyist and wheeler dealer Ivo Rittig have been lodged by the state attorney’s office, the Czech News Agency reported Monday. As well as Rittig, nine others face charges in the case focused on the company Oleo Chemical. The charges are alleged to have been paid around 20 million crowns by the company for fictitious services. The defendants say acted as consultants. Rittig, a former boxing promotor, is famous as a behind the scenes fixer and wheeler-dealer particularly concerning dubious deals involving Prague City Hall.
The state prosecutor has asked for a three to four year sentence in the case of Jana Nagyová (now Nečasová), the former aide and now spouse to ex-prime minister Petr Nečas, accused of abuse of office. The court on Monday examined final evidence; Nagyová is suspected of having used military intelligence to her own ends ie. to spy on the former prime minister’s first wife. Three others are also charged in connection with the case.