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Last week, the police charged 13 people on suspicion of corruption in the distribution of transport contracts in Olomouc, but the police are still investigating the matter in a new case.
In last week’s arrests, in addition to construction company employees, local politicians and regional officials were charged. Now the police are investigating the suspicion that two former PORR employees, Roman Láčík and Tomáš Tomanec, who have already been accused, were courting the favor of leading managers of the Olomouc branch of the state organization Directorate of Roads and Highways in order to obtain contracts from 2014.
“They repeatedly selfishly invited them to luxury tours and stays, which they paid for at least in part and participated in these tours together with them,” the police officers stated in the indictment for the first part of the case.
The managers of the Olomouc Police Department have not yet been charged. However, already in the documents for the first arrest, the police mention some of the attention they received from the accused former employees of the PORR company. For example, according to the police, it was a joint meeting in autumn 2021 in a wine cellar in Hlohovec. Here – as evidenced by the wiretaps – the distribution of orders was also dealt with.
As the investigators further claim, the three companies Ermiton Road, LCK roads and Omenes delta, which Láčík or Tomanec founded or operate in according to the commercial register, collected orders from the ŘSD for almost 150 million crowns.
“In the period from the beginning of 2014 to August 2020, these companies, which they practically controlled themselves for the entire period of their existence, managed to obtain ŘSD contracts in the total amount of 149,821,764 crowns,” the investigators said.
According to contracts published in the contract register, these companies won contracts for road repairs and maintenance or participated in the reconstruction of fencing.
The director of the RSD, Radek Mátl, confirmed to Seznam Zprávám that he is aware of the police findings. “There are some indications in this direction. Not a single person has been charged. So we are waiting to see if any of these people will be connected to this case in any way,” said Mátl.
What’s going on in Olomouc?
Last week, detectives charged thirteen people over construction contracts in Olomouc – including influential regional businessman Robert Knobloch and now former deputy governor Michal Zácha. According to the accusations, they influenced who would win public competitions organized by the regional road administration. For which, according to the findings of the police, they collected bribes.
According to the police, the trio of employees of the ŘSD, whom the detectives mention in the already written resolution on the initiation of criminal prosecution, had a direct influence on the allocation of contracts to these specific companies: they were members of the evaluation commissions.
“They provided them with the benefit of business profit from the orders, but at the same time they had to know that their actions could harm the ŘSD itself, because if they had selected the supplier in a proper way and allowed real competition and competition, then they could have awarded the orders at lower prices,” they wrote then police officers.
Detectives suspect a trio of workers – the head of the regional branch of the ŘSD and two directors of the highway administration and maintenance center – of several crimes. However, the police officers from the National Headquarters against Organized Crime allocated the case to the proceedings themselves and thus separated it from the case in which charges were brought last week. In the case of people from the ŘSD, as already mentioned, the police have not yet filed charges.
Seznam Zprava tried to contact them since Monday. However, they did not answer their phones at work and did not respond to e-mails sent to them by the editors.
Two former PORR employees who were already accused refused to comment on the case. “I can’t comment on that,” Romáš Tomanec told Seznam Zprávám. “I have no mandate to comment,” said attorney Tomáš Grepl, who represents Roman Láčik.
How did the favor “lean”?
In the accusation, the police state that the former employees of the construction company PORR, who were accused today, curry favor with the workers of regional organizations and the Directorate of Roads and Highways in various ways. They gave them gifts, invited them to lunch or to hang out in the wine cellar. But it didn’t end there. According to the police, they also provided them with sponsorship gifts, donated season tickets for hockey or football. They were also able to arrange a specialized examination at the Olomouc Military Hospital. It was not an exception that they paid for their stays in the mountains abroad or had their houses repaired.
According to director Mátl, the management of the ŘSD has already asked the police to provide him with a resolution to initiate criminal prosecution. He wants to find out from him how much their employees are affected by this case.
Although it didn’t have it on Monday, at the end of last week it already sent two employees of the ŘSD a notification that it was putting them on so-called obstacles. That is, that they will not temporarily work in their positions until the management has sufficiently examined the case. The third employee, whom the police are investigating, was already dismissed from his position in the spring.
In the event that the suspicions are indeed confirmed, according to Director Mátl, the ŘSD is ready to deal with the situation more forcefully. “I think there is no point in taking hasty steps at this time. However, if it were in the spirit that these persons would be interested in it or a criminal prosecution was initiated, we will act immediately,” declared Radek Mátl.
In the main part of this case, in which the charges have already been filed, the police are prosecuting a total of thirteen people. According to Olomouc chief prosecutor Radim Dragoun, most of them confessed to criminal activity after being accused during interrogation by the police.
The detectives, as they write in the indictment, obtained evidence of the influence of specific ten transport contracts of the Olomouc region. In the resolution, they claim that the group should have received bribes of over 46 million from them. However, part of the money was not handed over because the police intervened.
What are the effects of the case?
After being arrested and accused, Michal Zácha left the position of deputy governor and councilor in Přerov, he also ended up on the supervisory board of DPOV, which is a subsidiary of České drah, and also left the ODS. Another accused – lobbyist Robert Knobloch – then also left the ODS, in which he had been since 2006.