Detectives from the Organized Crime Unit intervened today at the Prague City Hall. According to their spokeswoman Iva Knolová, the event is supervised by the High Public Prosecutor’s Office in Olomouc. The spokesman declined to give details of the intervention. According to Czech Television, the intervention is related to the case of lobbyist Roman Janoušek.
The mayor of the capital, Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09), confirmed the presence of police officers at the municipality, he allegedly has no further information available.
“We can confirm that there are currently members of the criminal police on the premises of the municipality. They have requested some documents and we will of course provide maximum cooperation. We will not comment further on this at the moment, “said Petra Hrubá, a spokeswoman for the municipality. She told the E15.cz server that the representatives of the municipality had signed the secrecy and further information could not be disclosed.
I would like to say what is happening at the town hall, but we have signed the state council’s secrecy, so this tweet is for now max. #drzimeslovo
– Tomas Hudecek (@HudecekTomas) August 11, 2014
Prosecutor Pavel Komár did not want to comment on the case either. “It’s in the screening phase,” he said briefly. Even the addressed councilors and other employees cannot say the details yet.
According to the server idnes.cz the police requested documents for contracts from 2008 to 2013, which somehow connects Janoušek’s name. At the same time, the police officers are said to be interested in how the deputies voted in the contracts in question and how they themselves engaged in favor of the contracts.
Knolová said that the police intervened in several buildings, but she could not say in which. “We perform the tasks of the High Public Prosecutor’s Office in Olomouc,” she added only. According to Czech Television, however, from about half past eight, the police officers moved only in the main building of the Prague City Hall. Here they are still in the building, it is not clear.
The mayor left
The mayor left the town hall in the morning. According to the spokesman, he intends to focus on the current agenda and the pre-planned program. According to some sources close to Prague politicians, similar police actions at the municipality are not special.
The police are interested in what is happening around the Prague City Hall in a number of cases. Several former and current councilors, including the mayor faces charges in opencard case. In recent months, detectives have been involved in, among other things, the management of the Prague services, which the city owns for the most part, and the controversial construction of the Blanka tunnel complex.
|Prague is burdened by a number of disputed contracts|
|Opencard – The introduction of the cards was approved by the councilor in October 2005. After the pilot project, the cards began to be issued in April 2007, but Pražen began to show more interest in them only after the card replaced the annual paper tram from 2009. The project, which has been checking the police since 2010 and which has so far come to at least 1.25 billion crowns, dates from the time of former mayor Pavel Bémy. The police are prosecuting his successor – in addition to councilors also Mayor Tomáš Hudeček and expressor Bohuslav Svoboda – for breaches of duty in the administration of foreign property and violations of regulations on competition rules. This year in February was convicted in the case five municipal officials (suspended sentences from one to three years). In June, the Public Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against 15 people, including Hudeček and Svoboda.|
|Prague services, waste collection contracts – This year, on August 1, the anti-corruption police accused two people in connection with the intervention in the Prague services. The case concerns the company’s finances in 2010 and 2011. Four other people were charged with a small-scale contract awarded by the Prague City Hall in 2011. The first case is that Prague Services concluded a waste treatment contract with Ekolion, for which gets more money than usual. In the second case of the contract of the Prague City Hall, four people accused of the crime of acting were beneficial in awarding a public contract, in a public tender and in a public auction. The Prague services for the city provide waste collection for a billion crowns, they won the contract without proper competition. Police intervened in the company in July and at the beginning of the year.|
|Blanka Tunnel – The tunnel complex, which began construction in 2007, was to be put into operation in 2011, the date was later postponed to spring 2014, now it is unclear. The estimated costs increased significantly during the construction from the original 28 billion crowns to about 36 billion crowns. The building, which dates back to the time of Mayor of Bema, is the subject of a number of disputes. Police are investigating Blanka’s financing and the circumstances of last year’s cessation of work.|
|Trams for transport company (DPP) – the management of the largest city company is a long-term burden contract for the purchase of 250 trams Škoda 15T ForCity from Škoda Transportation in Pilsen for approximately 19 billion crowns. According to last year’s statement by Mayor Hudeček, the order from the time of Mayor Bém could also cause the collapse of the DPP. The municipality tried to withdraw from the contract, but it turned out that due to the threat of billions in payments when terminating the contract, this is not realistic. In March this year, DPP and Škoda Transportation agreed to amend the contract (including the distribution of installments). The DPP also submitted several advertisements, for example for brake failures. Problems have DPP is previously purchased trams T14 (Porsche). He recently ruled that due to a technical defect found in six sets will shut down all 59 T14 trams. One 14T cost the capital approximately 58 million crowns.|
|Rental of the Škoda Palace – municipal officials moved to a new headquarters in the center of Prague in 2006 and Prague was to pay more than four billion crowns for twenty years of use. The city at the same time the palace could buy on its own for 850 million and according to critics of the lease, the cost of acquisition, including repairs, would not exceed three billion. The municipality also originally estimated that by moving and renting vacant buildings it would save tens of crowns a year, but later found out that renting a palace was unfavorable for the city. Last year, Prague tried to achieve a significant reduction in rent, which according to councilors is currently unreasonably high. The owner offered a roughly one-third discount, but only if the contract was extended by 15 years. The city council then announced that due to too high rents to court.|
|Information technology contracts – A number of municipal orders for information systems are controversial. Last May, for example, Councilor Eva Vorlíčková (TOP 09) stated that there was no control at the municipality, the IT department was run by external experts and unnecessary and overpriced tenders were announced. Between 2006 and 2011, Prague spent six billion crowns on the license, operation and maintenance of information systems, about a fifth of which was, according to Vorlíčková, a waste of money. For example, a contract to the economic system from the company Gordic, for which Prague has paid over a billion crowns since 1993, began investigating the police in early February.|