Prague - The Czech Government Office has decided to claim the compensation of over 388 million crowns as an aggrieved party in the Promopro corruption case, the Government Office said in a press release today.
Last December, the High State Attorney's Office in Prague brought criminal charges against 12 people over a controversial public order the state placed with the Promopro company during the Czech EU presidency in 2009.
The case relates to an order for the supply of audiovisual equipment that was overpriced by 388 million crowns now claimed by the Government Office.
"After having thoroughly examined the whole agenda and based on an external expert legal opinion, we are demanding a compensation for the incurred damage from all the 12 defendants," head of the Government Office Pavel Dvorak said.
According to previous information, the charged persons include Jana Hendrichova, former deputy to Alexandr Vondra (Civic Democrats, ODS), the then deputy prime minister for EU affairs, and two subordinate officials, Radomir Karlik and David Mlicko.
The police say the three granted an advantage to Promopro by excluding the other bidders from the tender.
The three former officials are suspected of scheming in a public tender and auction, abuse of public office and breach of trust.
Vondra, who was responsible for the preparation of the Czech EU presidency and who was defence minister in 2010-2012, has not been charged.
The other suspects, including Promopro owner Jaroslav Vesely and Vlastimil Maxa, from the NDWC firm hired by Promopro, have been charged with money laundering, and three also with fraud.
The police say they transferred almost 400 million crowns to other persons or companies and issued fictitious invoices.
Promopro secured audiovisual equipment for the conferences held in the Czech Republic in connection with the Czech EU presidency. The government paid over half a billion crowns to Promopro, which won the order without a tender.
The Government Office previously explained that Promopro was chosen because it was an exclusive supplier of audiovisual equipment to Prague's Congress Centre in which most events related to the EU presidency were held. As a result, it was suitable and easier to negotiate with only one firm, which, in addition had passed security vetting, the Government Office said.