Saturday, 19 August 2017

Czech MPs file complaint against accusation in subsidy fraud case

ČTK |
3 August 2017

Prague, Aug 2 (CTK) - Czech MPs Josef Novotny (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Jaroslav Borka (Communists, KSCM) filed a complaint against their accusation in the case of misuse of EU subsidies in the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) Northwest, their defence lawyer Josef Lzicar told CTK today.

Borka and Novotny are suspected of harming the EU's financial interests and bargaining an advantage in a public tender. Novotny is also suspected of abuse of power and participation in an organised criminal group.

Both men deny the charges.

Lzicar told CTK that a complaint against the resolution on launching criminal proceedings with the deputies had been filed. Arguments will have to be completed in the complaint since the police have been investigating the case for several months and the MPs have not been able to read the file yet, so they do not know why they are prosecuted, he added.

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, released the MPs for criminal prosecution in early June.

The Chamber's mandate and immunity committee took a vote on the recommendation to the Chamber of Deputies on the two MPs separately. Sixty-eight out of 85 deputies present supported the release of Novotny and seven were against it. The figures for Borka were 69 for, six against.

The case of the ROP Northwest concerns European subsidies in the Usti and Karlovy Vary regions.

Twenty-six people are accused in the case, including regional politicians, senior officials and businesspeople. Former Czech senator Alexandr Novak and former CSSD regional governor Jana Vanhova are mong them.

Several people were convicted of manipulating the distribution of EU subsidies in the ROP in the past years.

hol/dr

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