The municipal court ruled for the second time in the case of the distribution of sports subsidies at the Ministry of Education, April 27, 2023, Prague. Former head of Czech football, Miroslav Pelta.
Prague – Today, the court once again sentenced the former head of Czech football, Miroslav Pelt, to six years in prison, a fine of five million crowns and a five-year ban on activities in the statutory bodies of associations. He sent Simona Kratochvílová, the former deputy of the Ministry of Education, to prison for 6.5 years, banned her from holding positions in the public administration for six years, and fined her two million euros. On the other hand, the court acquitted the other defendants, including the Czech Union of Sport (ČUS), its head Miroslav Jansta and the Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR). The verdict is not final.
The Prague Municipal Court decided today the same as in 2021, the amount of the imposed penalties is also the same. He had to return to the matter after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the original judgment and ordered additional evidence in the matter.
According to the current judgment, Pelta and his lover Kratochvílová together influenced the allocation of money to specific applicants in the program for material and technical support of sports clubs in 2017, and thus tried to cause the state damage of at least 175 million crowns. Among other things, police wiretaps from the apartment on Prague's Senovážné náměstí, where the lovers used to meet, testified against them.
The president of the Senate of the Prague Municipal Court, Lenka Cihlářová, stated that Pelt instructed Kratochvílová regarding the provision of subsidies to specific applicants, namely those who benefited from it. “They completely denied the meaning of providing state support for sports in this area,” she stated about the defendants. According to her, both were primarily based on which influential person – whether from the political or sports environment – requested support for the projects. They selected the successful applications even before the expert selection committee was established. The allocation of subsidies was thus not decided transparently according to predetermined criteria.
According to the verdict, the pair committed an attempt to abuse authority, breach of duty in the management of someone else's property and to negotiate an advantage in the awarding of a public contract, while leading Pelt Kratochvílová. These crimes are punishable by five to 12 years in prison. The criminal offenses remained at the trial stage for the reason that, after Kratochvílova's arrest, the ministry suspended the payment of subsidies, canceled the relevant subsidy programs and subsequently re-announced them.
The indictment also claimed that Kratochvílova influenced the ministry in 2017 sports subsidies in favor of Pelt's FAČR and Janst's ČUS and that she was giving information to the men. Jansta, ČUS secretary Jan Boháč and former head of the ministerial sports department Zdeněk Bříza also sat on the dock because of this. According to the court, however, these acts were not criminal offences.
The public prosecutor asked for nine years in prison and payment of 25 million crowns for Pelta, ten years in prison and payment of six million crowns for Kratochvílova. He wanted five years behind bars and a fine of two million for Jansta.
All the accused deny guilt. The Minister of Education Kateřina Valachová (ČSSD) resigned earlier because of the case. The case also cost Kratochvílov and Pelt, who resigned from his post in the football association from custody.