Brno - The Czech Supreme Court (NS) has rejected the appellate review of former Harvard funds president Viktor Kozeny and his accomplice Boris Vostry and definitively upheld their prison sentences for securities frauds, NS spokesman Petr Knoetig told CTK today.
Finančník Viktor Kožený 5. května 2007 v milionářském městečku Lyford Cay nedaleko Nassau na Bahamách. ČTK Richter Jaroslav
The court ruled that both men had caused damage of over ten billion crowns to the Harvardsky prumyslovy holding (HPH) in the 1990s.
Kozeny was sentenced to ten years and Vostry to nine years in prison as fugitives since they are living overseas.
The NS called their appellate review, in which they argued that their right to a just trial had been violated, obviously unsubstantiated, Knoetig said.
Both convicts can now file a complaint with the Constitutional Court (US) only, in which they would have to use the violation of their fundamental rights as an argument.
Kozeny and Vostry transferred the assets from the Harvard Investment Funds and the Sklo Union Teplice company in 1995-1997, thus harming the HPH that subsequently went bankrupt.
According to the charges, Kozeny initiated the siphoning off the funds, while Vostry participated in some transactions. He at the same time chaired the shareholders´ meetings where he was concealing information about their portfolios from them.
Though Kozeny and Vostry committed the crimes a long time ago, the Prague courts gave them the highest possible sentences due to the enormous damage they caused and very elaborate methods of crime which affected the economy of the whole country.
Both men´s defence counsels have dismissed the charges since the beginning.
Kozeny and Vostry say they are victims of a political trial.
Kozeny made a fortune in the Czechoslovak coupon privatisation at the beginning of the 1990s.
He established the Harvard Investment Funds in Prague in 1990 to which over 800,000 people entrusted their investment coupons in the first wave of the privatisation, that is almost 10 percent of all coupons holders.
In the other wave, his funds gained 292 million investment points and became the third most successful coupons administrator. Kozeny thereby controlled a significant part of the Czech economy and his property was worth billions of crowns.
Both convicts have long been hiding abroad to avoid justice.
Kozeny, who has Irish citizenship, lives in the Bahamas, and Vostry in Belize whose citizenship he has been granted.
The Czech authorities´ effort to reach their extradition have failed so far.