Miloš Zeman's lawyer Marek Nespala, September 8, 2022.
Prague – During the presidency of Miloš Zeman, the Castle paid almost 21 million crowns from public budgets to the law office of Marek Nespala. The iROZHLAS.cz server found this out from invoices and documents it obtained from the presidential office on the basis of the Information Act. On the basis of a broadly defined contract from 2013, Nespal's office represented Zeman, his office, but also the director of Lánské Obory, Miloš Balák, the website writes. The spokesman of the Castle did not respond to the questions sent to the server, ČTK is investigating the reaction of the president's spokesman.
From the sent documents and invoices, it appears that in the first years the Nespala Law Firm drew only a fraction of what followed in Miloš Zeman's second presidential term, i.e. from 2018. While in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the annual remuneration for the work performed by the lawyers of the Advokátní was kept Nespala offices under one million crowns, in 2018 they exceeded the amount of four million crowns. They used to amount to millions annually until now, last year the costs of legal services doubled year-on-year, exceeding 3.5 million crowns. Nespal's office collected more than last year only in 2018 and 2019.
“Obviously in 2022 there were major events in various cases and the costs increased with it. But it is important to repeat that this is public money and should be used economically and not for the private purposes of any persons connected with the Castle. I think that the money that is paid out here is spent contrary to general economy. And it even borders on the abuse of authority,” said Transparency International lawyer Petr Leyer after examining the invoices.
According to the server, Leyer was alluding to Zeman's dispute with his ex-consultant Zdenek Šarapatka, in which the president appears as a private person after the intervention of the Constitutional Court. He should therefore cover the costs of the proceedings from his own, and not public, money, writes iROZHLAS. In the same category, Leyer would include both disputes that Hrad and the president have with Džamila Stehlíková. “Both the criminal complaint and the civil dispute seem to me to be private disputes between the president of the republic and his associates. They should have conducted those disputes on a private level, not with public funds from the president's office,” he says.
Police investigators however, they stated in the fall that similar use of money is not a crime. However, it may be the subject of an audit by the Supreme Audit Office. This has already been held at the Castle, the conclusions have not yet been published.
The Castle's expenditure on legal services of AK Nespala in individual years:
|Year||Expenses (in CZK)|
Source: server iROZHLAS.cz