published: 31.10.2012, 15:22 | updated: 31.10.2012 15:25:32
Prague - The prosecution of Czech lobbyist Marek Dalik over attempted fraud linked to the purchase of Pandur APCs for the Czech military continues as the Prague High Attorney´s Office has rejected his complaint against the criminal charges he faces, supervising state attorney Jan Koran told CTK today.
"The complaint against the decision on the launch of prosecution that the accused Marek Dalik lodged on October 7, was rejected by me as unfounded on October 25," Koran said.
The police say Dalik, former close aide to the then prime minister Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS), in 2007 asked the Steyr company, the Austrian producer of Pandurs, for a bribe worth a half billion crowns in exchange for influencing the deal in favour of Steyr.
Dalik´s attempted fraud rests in his demanding the bribe without being able to meet his promise and influence the placing of the order, the police say.
Dalik faces up to ten years in prison, if convicted.
The police arrested Dalik in early December. The state attorney proposed that he be taken into custody so that he cannot escape or approach witnesses. The court, however, released Dalik to be prosecuted at liberty. No escape or approaching witnesses threatens in his case, the court said.
The Topolanek cabinet nodded to the purchase of 107 Pandurs worth 14.4 billion crowns in spring 2009. The contract with Steyr was signed shortly afterwards.
More than a year later, a Czech-Austrian police team launched an enquiry into the Pandur deal. In May 2011, the media published the testimony of Steyr manager Stephan Szuecs, who had the secret witness status in Austria. He reportedly testified that Dalik really did ask for the huge bribe.
Dalik dismissed Szuecs´s words as blatant nonsense.
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