published: 21.06.2012, 16:18 | updated: 21.06.2012 16:19:33
Prague - The Czech police have accused six former managers of the MUS coal-mining company of insider trading and abuse of power over a fraud worth 150 million dollars, anti-corruption police spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej announced today.
The former managers of the Mostecka uhelna (MUS) are suspected of illegally taking the money from the company and using the sum to buy its shares. If they are proven guilty, they face up to 10 years in prison.
The suspects plead innocent. Their media representative Alexandra Rudysarova said the prosecution resulted from a social pressure and was unlawful. She said the managers would file a complaint against it.
Ibehej said the suspects have been accused based on the order of the supervising High State Attorney´s Office in Olomouc, north Moravia.
The privatisation of MUS has been investigated by the Swiss authorities since 2005 on suspicion of financial machinations.
In October 2011, former managers of the MUS and the Appian Group company, Antonin Kolacek, Lubos Mekota, Marek Cmejla, Oldrich Klimecky, Petr Kraus, Jiri Divis and Jacques de Groot, who is a Belgian citizen, were charged in Switzerland with money laundering, fraud and forging documents. In mid-April, however, the Swiss court returned the file to the prosecutor for gathering further evidence.
The Czech state has failed to join the Swiss criminal proceedings due to delays and sluggishness on the part of the Czech authorities. Nevertheless, the Czech state is in the position of an aggrieved party. It will attend further proceedings and it has prepared a civilian action to file.
The Czech police, too, previously enquired into the suspicious MUS privatisation. The case was shelved in 2008, but a former supreme state attorney ordered its reopening.
The Czech Finance Ministry recently lodged a complaint against the six persons and and claimed financial compensation for the damage incurred to the state. The Czech Republic lost billions of crowns in the MUS shares transactions.
Ibehej said the police continue to deal with the ministry´s complaint.
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