More secret recordings rock Public Affairs

Junior coalition party VV faces yet another scandal over party finances and ethics after secret recordings are posted on the Internet

foto: Česká pozice

Just as Public Affairs (VV), the smallest of the three ruling coalition parties, was beginning to reassert itself following the April crisis that saw it lose two ministerial posts, audio recordings have been published in which de facto VV leader Vít Bárta is heard claiming the party has its people in the Finance Ministry’s financial watchdog department.

It follows on the heels of the “cash for loyalty” and other ethical scandals involving the security agency ABL that Bárta founded. The recordings were made at an informal meeting of Public Affairs’ MPs in Vít Bárta’s apartment.

Excerpt from discussion about party finances:  

Krystýna Kočí (who was expelled from VV in April after accusing Bárta of offering her a bribe to remain loyal): “The main issue: By the end of the month, we have to present the party’s accounts to the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of parliament]. Have we got a solution?”

Bárta: “We’ve got it sorted out.”

Unidentified person in background: [Michal] “Babák is casting spells.”

Kočí: “But if Babák is casting spells, as is being said, and he’ll bring a bag with half a million [crowns] and pay it into Public Affairs’ account, I ask for him not to cast spells because then…” (recording incomprehensible)

Bárta: “I don’t believe that.”

Kočí: “Apparently, he brought half a million in a bag and paid it into the VV account. Can you please check this information?”  

Klasnová:  “That’s exactly where the borderline is…”

Kočí: “Yes, now that we’ve seen what the FAÚ [Financial Analytical Unit at the Finance Ministry] is doing, it’s probably not a problem for [finance minister Miroslav] Kalousek to have a look where Babák left the half million in cash.” 

Paggio: “[Defense Minister Alexandr] Vondra will always join up with us to discredit the FAÚ.”

Bárta: “We already have our people in the FAÚ. Of course it’s another thing that we’re now looking for sponsors, and Babák is conducting crisis management and it’s no laughing matter.”

Bárta: “(recording incomprehensible) some offers and I write to him, [asking] what he thinks, but instead of telling me good or bad, he then asks me if I read his article in Mladá fronta Dnes in the morning. He’s simply self-centered like that. … I call and he says, so come immediately as soon as your meeting finishes. ... His door is always open to me, that’s for sure. And if I tell him he should do something, then he does it because he sees his own effect behind it.”

Bárta’s comments about President Václav Klaus:

Bárta:“(recording incomprehensible) some offers and I write to him, [asking] what he thinks, but instead of telling me good or bad, he then asks me if I read his article in [the daily] Mladá fronta Dnes in the morning. He’s simply self-centered like that. ... I call and he says, so come immediately as soon as your meeting finishes. ... His door is always open to me, that’s for sure. And if I tell him he should do something, then he does it because he sees his own effect behind it.”

Drunk with power?

Bárta claimed on Friday that he was “inebriated” at the time the recording was made, which caused his to “exaggerate” about his relations with President Klaus. The party called an emergency meeting on Friday meeting after which they claimed that the recordings were made by Krystýna Kočí.

Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) refused to comment about the recordings. “The world of secret recordings is not my world. I’m not interested in their contents, and therefore I can’t even comment,” Nečas was quoted as saying by the server Aktunalě.cz.

The leader of TOP 09’s club of MPs, Petr Gazdík, has called upon Public Affairs to immediately present the party’s books to parliament. “The recording just affirms many suspicions: that the party is financed through a publishing house, suspicions about Mr. Babák and his loans and suspicions about VV’s annual report about which Mr. Škárka claimed that several things had been manipulated,” Gazdík told MfD. TOP 09 is the second of the three coalition parties.

In contrast to Nečas, Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil (ODS) says the largest coalition party will discuss whether to terminate the coalition agreement with VV at a meeting of the party’s leadership next Wednesday, May 18. “I can’t rule out the possibility of finishing cooperation with Public Affairs,” MfD quoted Pospíšil as saying.

Počet příspěvků: 1, poslední 15.5.2011 06:16 Zobrazuji posledních 1 příspěvků.