27. října 2016 | News

Amnestie Václava Klause – čtvrtá část

The Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK) has released a fourth part of a study containing basic facts and quotes from the rulings of selected courts and public prosecutors, concerning the application of Article II of the amnesty declared by Václav Klaus in 2013. This part brings you the rulings passed by the regional public prosecutors and courts in Plzeň and Ústí nad Labem.  

The criminal activities of the prosecuted (and amnestied) defendants again run the gamut of “classic” offences, including fraud, tax embezzlement, the non-payment of other compulsory fees, violation of binding rules of business conduct, breach of trust and the very serious offence of evading taxation, charges and similar compulsory payments, forgery by falsifying, altering or counterfeiting documents, giving and accepting bribes, abuse of official powers, and breach of trust. The “rarer” criminal acts include the unauthorized production and possession of narcotic and psychotropic substances and poisons, or breach of regulations governing foreign trade in military materials. The financial loss stated by the said rulings exceeds 2.2 billion crowns; further damages in the vicinity of 1.3 billion crowns were prevented.

In addition to the siphoning off of company assets to related firms or the import of ethyl-alcohol or motor vehicles and the nonpayment of customs duties or VAT, the rulings also bring details about the smuggling of drugs to the United Kingdom: what do if a consignment dies not fit in the fuel tank, or how to ensure that the vehicle crew looks inconspicuous (it must consist of a man, woman and small child). While British recipients of the drug haul were later sentenced to 10 years in prison by a UK court, the Czech Republic halted the prosecution of the drug exporters to Britain under the amnesty. So many countries, so many customs, indeed.    

The rulings also speak about unlicenced “entrepreneurs”, who sold weapons material including six MiG-21 fighter planes or an anti-missile system. Gullible people were also a good source of income (as ever, anyway): fraudsters promised brokering jobs on Venezuelan oil-drilling platforms, collected “returnable” advance payments amounting CZK 10,000 apiece, but the hapless people, who were “had”, never saw an oil platform or their money again. The amnesty halted the prosecution of these criminals. Once again, the ruling is rife with verbal exchanges between trial and appeals courts, including a powerful bang by the Supreme Court.    

It should be noted that as indicated by the rulings, obtained from the regional and high courts and public prosecutors nationwide, the defendants whose prosecution was halted were thought to have caused damages amounting to at least 18.6 billion crowns, with additional damages to the tune of at least 3.4 billion crowns being averted. Damages were said to have been incurred on over 90,000 natural persons and hundreds of legal entities.

We must add, in conclusion, that the Anticorruption Endowment Board of Directors decided to release the full names of the prosecuted and amnestied persons wherever they could be asserted after the fact.

The Anticorruption Endowment is a fully independent initiative by people radically unprepared to accept a high level of corruption in state administration. One of our goals is to help expose corruption in state administration and support projects exposing corruption.  

Enclosures – Ruling on the halting of criminal proceedings under Article II of President Václav Klaus’s amnesty, decreed on 1 January 2013 (in Czech only):

Please contact: Martin Soukenka, NFPK Analyst, e-mail: martin.soukenka@nfpk.cz