After several weeks of embarrassing pseudo-obstacles, the Municipal Court in Prague has finally registered Karel Janeček’s (37) Anti-Corruption Endowment Fund. The doubts of the senior judicial official, Romana Janečková (no relation), about the general benefit of the anti corruption fund’s activities and the academic qualifications of the organs’ members were convincingly refuted.
Monika Vondráková, the director of communications at RSJ, of which Janeček is the co-owner, told Czech position that as of Monday the fund will have an account where donors can send financial support. She added that, “strangely enough there are already a number of potential donors.”
The fund’s aim is to support the exposure of corrupt practices in public administration, to support projects exposing corruption, to make the utmost effort to bring publicized corruption cases to a conclusion and to support the building of ethical values in a democratic society. The fund’s activities will be officially started at a press conference on March 23, which will be attended by US Ambassador Norman Eisen.
“We can’t just go on and on about fighting corruption, it’s time to act — visibly and quickly,” stated Janeček, the founder and chairman. “I’m glad that the court has acknowledged this,” he added. Apart from Janeček, the fund’s board of trustees comprises of brewer Stanislav Bernard, talk-show host Jan Kraus, economist Tomáš Sedláček and a former head of military intelligence Karel Randák.
The winners of the first prizes for publicly exposing corruption will be Libor Michálek, the former head of the State Environmental Fund, who kicked off the Drobil affair, and the lawyer Ondřej Závodský, who pointed out the non-transparent awarding of public contracts in the Services Institute for the Interior Ministry.
“These are people that have risked their well-being and despite the lack of legal protection they gave vent to their suspicions of corruption in their offices. Anyone who points out corruption is a hero not a snitch, and as such they deserve recognition, not sacking,” Janeček said. According to information made available to Czech Position, the prizes will be accompanied by unusually large financial amounts.
“The fight against corruption is essential to create a better business environment in the Czech Republic,” said Stanislav Bernard, a member of the fund’s board of trustees. “The existence of the fund is tangible proof that the world hasn’t gone completely mad,” he added.