Prague police search public offices and home of deputy mayor on suspicion of corruption

The police organized crime squad has launched prosecution of 11 people in Prague Public Transport Company's, including Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 15.06.2022 11:58:00 (updated on 15.06.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The police organized crime squad (NCOZ) has launched prosecution of nearly a dozen people connected to the suspicious management of the Prague Public Transport Company's (DPP), prosecutor Adam Borgula announced today. Police searched public offices and private residences today, including the DPP seat and the City Hall, this morning.

"Criminal prosecution has been launched against 11 people over acts which are linked with the management of the DPP. No more information can be released with regard to the current phase of the criminal proceedings," Borgula wrote on the website of the High Prosecutor's Office in Prague.

Czech media said the suspects include Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček and entrepreneur Michal Redl. Czech Radio said these individuals are suspected of corruption and Redl is suspected of handling illegal narcotic substances.

According to CTK's information, police searched Hlubuček's home in Prague-Lysolaje this morning, where he is currently staying and speaking situation with his lawyer.

On the DPP premises, the police closed, among other offices, the offices of the board of directors members, the DPP general director, and of the heads of the legislative department and the property management department.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib tweeted earlier this morning that the police were intervening in the office Hlubuček, a member of the DPP supervisory council.

"I took up my post at the City Hall with the motto: I want to govern the city with a clean shield. I demand the same from my colleagues. The police are searching the office of my deputy representing STAN. The City Hall cooperates with the police. If suspicion exists, it must be checked," Hřib wrote on Twitter.

If suspicion exists, it must be investigated, Hřib wrote. He later tweeted that if Hlubuček is accused of involvement in organized crime, he will demand his immediate resignation.

Adam Scheinherr, who is Prague's deputy mayor in charge of transport, said he isn't familiar with the circumstances of the case and that the police have not addressed him, but that he filed a criminal complaint some time ago over a case of suspected corruption.

"Judging by the media information today, my criminal complaint took aim at the same group of people whom the raids targeted this morning. I have done my best, and the rest is now up to the police to deal with. Our work, thanks to which important transport projects made progress in Prague, must not be harmed by corrupt behavior," Scheinherr told CTK.

According to server Novinky.cz, detectives from the NCOZ completed searches at about 40 places in Prague.

City Hall has canceled two press conferences scheduled for today, which Hlubuček was to attend.

STAN leader and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told CTK that he knows about the police raid from the media, but would not comment on it.

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The presence of the police in their headquarters has been confirmed for CTK by representatives of the DPP and the General Health Insurance Company (VZP), who would also not elaborate.

DPP is the largest Prague municipal company. It operates the metro, trams, buses, and the funicular. It employs some 11,000 people. Its budget is projected at over 16.76 billion crowns this year, compared with 15.2 billion in 2021.

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