Fresh graft charges filed against ex-Prague 5 mayor

ÚOKFK first began probing Milan Jančík’s dealings as Prague 5 mayor under suspicion of abuse of office in 2010

Brian Kenety 23.3.2012

Milan Jančík momentálně nekomunikuje. Až zítra, ve středu 5. ledna, bude odpovídat na nepříjemné otázky při tiskové konferenci, kterou svolal. foto: ČTKČeská pozice

Milan Jančík momentálně nekomunikuje. Až zítra, ve středu 5. ledna, bude odpovídat na nepříjemné otázky při tiskové konferenci, kterou svolal.

The Czech anti-corruption police (ÚOKFK) have filed a third set of criminal charges against former Prague 5 district mayor Milan Jančík, over transfer of claims on outstanding rents from a contract he signed when in office — without clearing the deal with the city council, and with a firm whose beneficial owners cannot be traced.

“Detectives have accused him of the crime of abuse of office,” ÚOKFK police spokeswoman Pavla Kopecká said, as cited by the news server Tyden.cz.

Jančík (Civic Democrats, ODS) is suspected of having improperly concluded an agreement with Agentura Praha 5, which has so-called bearer stock that allows the true owners to remain anonymous, in order to enrich himself.

According to the police investigation’s findings, Prague 5 was owed Kč 60 million in outstanding rent when the contract with Agentura Praha 5 was signed — and the company embezzled Kč 4.4 million. According to graft watchdog Transparency International, the district’s administration lost even more — around Kč 80 million — as a result of the contract.

Jančík, who served as Prague 5 mayor from 2002 through to 2010, has denounced the charges against him as absurd, arguing that he did not need permission from the Prague 5 councilors because the amount of individual claims allegedly did not exceed Kč 100,000. The council approved all claims above that amount for non-residential purposes, he says.

The ÚOKFK first launched an investigation into Jančík’s dealings as Prague 5 mayor under suspicion of abuse of office in 2010. However, in January 2011 the public prosecution service rejected the findings put forward by the anti-corruption police, who presenting their revised conclusions the following month.

The former district mayor is now deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Prague electricity distribution company PRE.