Illustrative photo – Hearing of the case of poisoning of the Bečva River by Energoaqua from September 2020, January 30, 2023, District Court, Vsetín.
Vsetín – In the case of poisoning of the river Bečva from September 2020, the first witnesses should testify at the Vsetín district court today. The court started hearing the case at the end of January this year. So far, the defendants have testified before it, the court has also dealt with documentary evidence. Judge Ludmila Gerlová set aside a total of 39 trial days for the main trial, ordering them until December.
Photo gallery: Death of fish and leakage of substances into the river Bečva
Prosecutor Jiří Sachr indicted the Energoaqua company from Rožnov pod Radhoštěm in the Vsetín region and its director Oldřich Havelka in the case. The representative of the company Vladimír Kurka and Havelka denied the guilt. For damaging and endangering the environment and unauthorized handling of protected wild animals and wild plants, Havelka faces up to five years in prison, a ban on the company's activities and a fine.
According to the public prosecutor, the company caused the pollution of Bečva with poisonous cyanides and hexavalent chromium , at least on 37 kilometers of the river. The indictment states that this resulted in a massive kill of more than 39 tons of fish of various species, sizes and ages. The poisoning affected the river in the section below Valašský Meziříčí in the Vsetín region as far as Přerov, according to experts, the poisonous substances there damaged the biotope and conditions for all water-bound organisms.
Energoaqua manages the factory site of the former Tesla in Rožnovsk. It also provides wastewater treatment. They leave the area via the canal that flows into Bečva in Valašské Meziříčí. The investigators concluded that the pollution entered the river through this channel. The representatives of the company refuse it. They claim that the first fish began to die approximately 3.5 kilometers from this outlet and, according to them, it is therefore ruled out that Energoaqua was the cause of the ecological disaster. Some fishermen and scientists also believe that the source of the pollution must have been closer to where the first caught fish were found.