Although this week the court approved a suspended sentence for the former director of the Bulovka University Hospital, Andrea Vrbovská, and the then employee of the hospital, Maria Nushiová, the case surrounding hospital contracts is not over for them yet.
Both – as mentioned by public prosecutor Zdeněk Matula – face prosecution in the next branch of the case. It concerns a contract for the restoration of linear accelerators, the value of which was supposed to be 120 million crowns, according to the accusations.
In the first part, Vrbovská agreed to leave the court with the strictest five-year sentence, but if the court finds her guilty in the second part of the case, according to the prosecutor, she will most likely end up in prison – even if she wants to agree on a lighter sentence in exchange for a confession.
“If the accused in further proceedings are interested in reaching an agreement, it will have to be resolved by a summary sentence,” Matula said when asked by Seznam Zpráv.
Vrbovská decided to make a deal after the public prosecutor presented the indictment in court. Since she did not approach it earlier – even when the case was being investigated by the police – she does not have the same benefit in the case of a lower sentence as the main character of the case, businessman Tomáš Horáček.
He began to cooperate with the police and finally agreed on a lighter sentence with the prosecutor in December 2021. Specifically, it involved six months in prison, which Horáček had previously spent in custody, a fine of five million crowns and a seven-year ban on working in commercial companies.
But Horáček had to help the police uncover criminal activity for a lesser sentence. Thanks to his testimony, former ODS MP Marek Šnajdr was also charged in the case of the contract for the renewal of linear accelerators. And in addition, Horáček must testify to everything in court.
Vrbovská no longer has such an obligation.
“That agreement was not concluded as with a cooperating accused,” Matula said regarding the Vrbovská prosecutor’s cases. “This is a simple agreement. The accused will declare that they have committed the act in question, and there are no further obligations and further assistance in the public interest,” added Matula.
Moreover, the aforementioned punishment that Horáček received is final and unchangeable. For Vrbovská, this case will continue.
So it doesn’t have to end with a five-year sentence, a fine (Vrbovská has to pay six million) and a ban on working in health care institutions.
“Don’t be angry, I don’t want to comment on it,” said Vrbovská.
What agreements have been approved by the court
Plaintiff Zdenek Matula agreed with the defendants on this sentence:
- Andrea Vrbovská: five-year probation, a fine of six million crowns and a seven-year ban on working in health facilities.
- František Novák: a five-year probation, a fine of 2.8 million crowns and a ten-year ban on working in health facilities.
- Marie Nushiová: a four-year condition, a fine of 200,000 crowns and a four-year ban on working in health facilities.
In the case for which Vrbovská ended up in court, prosecutor Zdeněk Matula describes on more than 200 pages the influence of two contracts of the Bulovka University Hospital for more than 150 million crowns. In one case, 7.2 million crowns were supposed to go to bribes.
According to the indictment, the businessman Horáček, who worked with the winning company, told the police during the interrogation that he offered Vrbovská the sum of three million crowns for signing the contract and the subsequent execution of the contract for cleaning the hospital.
Vrbovská did not comment on it. She did not testify during the police interrogation, and her lawyer Ladislav Veselý stated that they would not answer questions throughout the criminal proceedings.
The order was not implemented anyway, because after Vrbovská’s arrest, another director of the hospital canceled it.
In the second case, there is also Horáček’s former company První chráněná dílna, which founded its business on employing handicapped people, thanks to which it was able to compete for public contracts under favorable conditions. But it sent most of the orders to subcontractors.
In this connection, the plaintiff describes that the First Protected Workshop illegally collected 477,000 crowns for the construction of the hospital’s automatic entry system. And this despite the fact that she did not contribute in any way to the implementation of this order.
The article erroneously stated that the former deputy of the Bulovka University Hospital, František Novák, was also accused in the case of contracts for the renewal of linear accelerators.