Case of Miroslav Kalousek

Miroslav Kalousek and 20 years of his bureaucratic and political games

What’s the case all about?

On 1 July 2014, the Anticorruption Endowment (hereinafter “NFPK” or “Endowment”) released its “book for the beach”. It provides the reader with a summary of cases that have made official and politician Miroslav Kalousek the most influential leader and behind-the-scenes player of the past 20 years.

Open sources speak volumes about the cases over the past 20 years in which Miroslav Kalousek, a government official and later political leader and member of several governments, has figured, overtly or covertly. Those interested can learn how hands-on experts rated the “high quality” parachutes, one of which killed Private Roman Prinich, how voting was repeated until the compete victory of an outsider in the case of modernization of the T-72 series of tanks, or how the imprint of a company rubber stamp was “lost” from an envelope with a contract for an army staff information system. How MiG-29 jet fighters were bartered for Polish helicopters, basically unsuitable for the planned purpose, how Petr Nečas and Miroslav Kalousek argued in 1997 whether the army’s national defence strategy requires a minimal or maximal number of T-72 tanks, or how the army barracks in Prague’s Náměstí Republiky Square, valued at almost one billion crowns, was sold and the state received almost nothing.

The publication discloses that M. Kalousek, then a deputy defence minister, made all relevant decisions but was not legally accountable for them, which could explain why police never charged him with anything during his engagement at the Ministry of Defence, in the 1990s.

No less intriguing is M. Kalousek’s role in the Diag Human case, in which his good acquaintance and neighbour “across the river”, Josef Šťáva, is suing the Czech Republic for billions of crowns because of an allegedly spoiled blood plasma business. As a member of the lower house of parliament, M. Kalousek supported the acquisition of Gripen supersonic jets, even though the national budget had to be boosted with additional tens of billions of crowns; backed an electronic road toll collection system and an ensuing project, replacing paper highway stickers with electronic vignettes, which experts dismissed as “complete nonsense from the economic, transport and technical viewpoints,” since the project would be 9-11 billion crowns more expensive, over five years, than the paper highway stickers.

As minister of finance, Christian Democrat M. Kalousek at Christmas 2008 presented gambling companies with a licence to engage in the odds betting business online. Alto worth mentioning is M. Kalousek’s strange attitude to the case of acquisition of CASA transport aircraft and his dubious effort to enforce a single super-contract for a multibillion-crown project on the elimination of old environmental burdens. The book also mentions his position on a law on settlement with churches. On a lighter note, the book appreciates his acute sense of humour, unparallelled on the Czech political scene. It comes complete with a description of his ties with arms tycoon Richard Háva.

“We decided to release this publication because no such summary had been available. On behalf of the Endowment, let me wish you an interesting, though not satisfying reading,” NFPK Director Petr Soukenka said on the launching date.

The publication is available in a concise and more detailed version (see below). Both editions differ by the number of pages devoted to each case. The shorter version is intended for those who will make do with a general description of each case and do not seek to learn more subtle facts.

Downloadable documents (in Czech)