Former defence minister stands trial on corruption charges

20-01-2014

A court in Prague on Monday began hearing the case of former defence minister Martin Barták and arms dealer Michal Smrž charged with corruption in the purchase of Tatra trucks for the Czech army. The prosecution believes that in 2008, Mr Barták in his capacity as then deputy defence minister asked the truck maker’s supervisory board head for a five-million dollar bribe to smoothen the deal. On Monday, Mr Barták denied any involvement in the alleged corruption, and dismissed the charges as “obvious nonsense”. If convicted, the former defence minister faces 12 years in prison.