Accusations (from left) Antonio Koláček, Jiří Diviš and Marek Čmejla wait on June 16, 2021 at the Municipal Court in Prague for the start of the trial of the Mostecká coal company case.
Prague – The Prague Municipal Court has legally stopped the prosecution of businessmen Marek Čmejla and Jiří Diviš in the case of the Mostecká uhelná společnost (MUS). The reason is their previous sentence, which the men received in the Swiss branch of the case. The server Aktuálně.cz reported it today. The Czech criminal proceedings will continue with the remaining defendants, including manager Antonio Koláček.
“It was decided to stop their criminal prosecution due to inadmissibility, because they started serving the suspended sentences of imprisonment and a suspended monetary penalty imposed on them in Switzerland,” court spokesman Adam Wenig told the server about Čmejl and Diviš. Last summer, the Swiss judiciary changed the original unconditional prison sentences to a two-year term for Čmejla and a twenty-month term for Diviš.
The Czech prosecution claims that Koláček, Diviš, Čmejla, Klimecký and Petr Kraus controlled the mining company with its own money. Allegedly, they created a confusing corporate structure to make it appear that they owned or controlled the majority of MUS shares from May 1998 at the latest. They then allegedly waited until the share price fell and bought back his share from the state through Investenergy at a significantly lower price. According to the prosecutor, they caused at least 3.2 billion crowns in damage to the Czech Republic. The sale of the state stake in MUS to the company Investenergy was approved in July 1999 by the government of current President Miloš Zeman.
Kraus's prosecution in the Czech branch was also stopped earlier after he went to prison in Switzerland for a practically identically described act.
Prague City Court has been hearing the Czech indictment since November 2018. Last fall, it was already counting on delivering closing arguments, but Koláček revoked his power of attorney to his lawyers and the main trial had to be postponed. It should continue in March and June. “Given the stage of the criminal proceedings, the possibility of closing arguments can be expected, and the further course cannot be predicted,” said a court spokesman today.
The Swiss court already punished Čmejla, Diviš, Koláček, Kraus, Klimecký and the Belgian Jacques de Groote. De Groote was the only one who received only a monetary penalty, the others were sentenced to imprisonment. All men deny guilt.