The case of the former head of state forests will be dealt with by the Supreme Court

The case of the former head of state forests will be dealt with by the Supreme Court

The case of the former šéfa forest state

On April 28, 2022, the District Court in Hradec Králové acquitted Daniel Szorád, the former general director of the state enterprise Lesy České republiky (LČR) without jurisdiction (pictured on April 19, 2022 ) fraud charges.

Hradec Králové/Prague – The Supreme Court will deal with the case of the alleged fraud of the former director general of Forests of the Czech Republic (LČR) Daniel Szorád. Last November, the regional court acquitted him of the charges, but the public prosecutor filed an appeal against the verdict, writes today's Hospodářské noviny. According to the prosecutor, Szórád failed to comply with the non-competition clause after his dismissal from office in 2018. Szórád, who has been the economic director of LČR since the beginning of this year, has denied guilt from the beginning.

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The filing of an appeal in Szórád's case was confirmed to the newspaper by the spokesman of the Králové Hradec district court, Tomáš Nypl. It is not clear when the first trial will take place, as the Supreme Court has not yet received the appeal. “It is filed through the court of first instance, which must carry out some necessary procedural actions, for example the collection of the court fee for the appeal,” Supreme Court spokesman Petr Tomíček told the newspaper.

Szórád was the general director of LČR from 2014 to 2018. In connection with his work at the head of the company, he faced two criminal prosecutions. According to the public prosecutor, Szórád allegedly failed to comply with a non-compete clause after being removed from office in 2018 and started working for the private forestry company LST earlier than he was allowed to. However, the regional court in Hradec Králové finally acquitted Szorád of fraud charges at the end of last November.

Already in the spring of 2021, the public prosecutor stopped the prosecution of Szórád due to an alleged breach of duty in the management of someone else's property. According to criminologists, he damaged the state-owned enterprise by offering mining companies early termination of contracts by agreement due to the bark beetle calamity. In this matter as well, the former director of LČR denied any wrongdoing.

LČR spokeswoman Eva Jouklová stated that the company does not yet know about the continuation of the case at the Supreme Court. “The final judgment of the Regional Court in Hradec Králové from November 30, 2022 is now decisive,” she told Hospodářské novinám.

Last year, Szórád unsuccessfully applied to return to the post of general director of LČR in a tender issued by the Ministry of Agriculture. However, Dalibor Šafařík became the new director in December. The latter appointed Szórád as the company's economic director shortly afterwards. He did so without a selection process.

The state enterprise LČR manages almost half of the country's forests. The company has not yet published the financial results for last year. In the first three quarters of last year, the company multiplied its gross profit year-on-year to a record 7.39 billion crowns from the previous year's 2.9 billion CZK. The main reason for the increase in profit was the increase in wood prices.