Changing of the guard at Pradakova. He was the lead prosecutor who exposed the crimes at Lani

A key department of the High Prosecutor's Office in Prague has a new director. As Aktuálně.cz discovered, he became a lawyer with experience in managing many of the most famous cases in recent years. It included an investigation into the manipulation of orders in the industry last year and the David Rath scandal. He was appointed to the administrative position by the head of the office, Lenka Pradakova.

“The pardon doesn't surprise me. If the convicted Mr. Balak has a tendency to start testifying about what was behind his actions, or what other people may have participated in, they may feel threatened,” he said last March. Diary n When then-President Milos Zeman pardoned the sentence of the leader of the Lanska branch, Milos Balak, state representative Jiri Brazak.

The court sentenced him to three years in prison for manipulating the contract to revive the banks of the Glaikawa Reservoir, which Balak had handed over to a related company. This is the first criminal case to bring to light illegal management practices in forest management of Lani, which falls under the fort. At that time, Advocate Brajak supervised the investigation.

As Aktuálně.cz has now discovered, Brazak became director of the Serious Economic and Financial Crimes Department in February. It is an elite group of seventeen lawyers who oversee the unraveling of corruption cases, terrorism-related cases and cases involving illegality in the activities of the intelligence services.

Catch as many criminals as possible

“The operational objective of the department is to bring to court as many as possible of those involved in the most serious crimes and achieve their punishment through impeccable work. To achieve this goal, I want to create a better environment for the lawyers of the department. I myself contribute to it to the best of my ability,” new director Prajak told editors.

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He replaces Marek Potlak, who led the union for less than eight years. The government of Petr Fiala (ODS) last week approved Bodlák's nomination as a judge, the expiring prosecutor will work at the District Court for Prague 3. President Petr Pavel will appoint him along with more than 50 new judges in the coming weeks.

According to information from Aktuálně.cz, Brazak is the only possible candidate for the position of director. The public representative from Somudo started working with Lenka Bradakova in 2013, who brought her from the north of Bohemia to the High Public Prosecutor's Office in Prague.

“When I arrived ten years ago, I had to make formal changes. The office did not have a good name,” Pradakova told Aktuálně.cz last summer. He replaced the prosecution team by 70 percent. In addition to the first major case in Lani, Brajak oversaw the second branch of David Rath's corruption case, in which the main actor was legally sentenced to eight years in prison.

Confidence from Bradakova

For personal reasons, Prajak moved to his own Somuto in the fall of 2020, where he led the lawyer for less than three years. However, as Aktuálně.cz pointed out last September, family circumstances allowed him to return to the High Prosecutor's Office in Prague. He immediately joined the department he has been heading since February this year.

Jiří Pražák has a reputation as a skilled, accurate and precise lawyer who sticks strictly to the facts and shows no emotion. He belongs to the younger generation of public prosecutors, Pradakova believed in the first years of working in the Office of the Chief Prosecutor. The others are Adam Bosny, Pavel Brykl, Adam Porcula and Marek Podlak.

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Office of the High Prosecutor in Prague in 2023

Aktuálně.cz presents key indicators of the activities of the High Prosecutor's Office in Prague and its supervision in criminal cases or representing cases in court in 2023.

  • 62 criminal cases were initiated.
  • Criminal prosecution was initiated against 126 persons in 29 cases (three cases have terrorist overtones, one case related to war crime).
  • Final judgments were issued in 27 cases against 80 individuals (including 8 plea agreements).
  • In one case, the court declared a final judgment of acquittal.
  • Prosecutors filed 12 charges against 92 people, 4 petitions to approve a plea deal.
  • Courts are still finalizing chargesheets in 84 cases involving 438 people.
  • In the last 10 years, prosecutors have handled 52 cases that today fall under the competence of the European Public Prosecutor.

“I want the Serious Economy and Financial Crimes Department to continue working at least under my predecessor, Marek Potlak,” Brazak told Aktuálně.cz. Potlock managed the key sector from August 2013 to January 2019, and then again from January 2022 to the end of this January.

88 percent are criminals under the law

The department oversaw the investigation of the dosimeter case involving more than ten politicians, officials and managers associated with the municipality of Prague due to possible corruption in the awarding of public contracts at the transport company. Police closed the case with a proposal to file an indictment, with prosecutors expected to decide whether to file it this week.

The same department is also pursuing the indictment of former Supreme Court judge Zdeňko Sovák, who is believed to have asked for or accepted bribes worth millions of crowns when making decisions. In the past, the union has been successfully convicted in cases such as the embezzlement of political entrepreneur Marek Dalic or the bribery of former director of the Homolka hospital, Vladimir Depale.

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On the other hand, the Prague High Court acquitted former Defense Minister Vlasta Barkanova of all charges in the case of allegedly overcharging Gaza planes. According to the police, prosecutor Priegl did not bring to court the case of General Vladimir Halenka, who illegally traded old military equipment. The union failed with two property crime charges against political entrepreneur Ivo Rittich.

Since July 2012, when Lenka Bradáčová took over as head of the High Prosecutor's Office in Prague, the Serious Economic and Financial Crimes Department has filed around 250 indictments. In 88 percent of them, prosecutors reached a final conviction or an agreement on guilt and punishment, and the rest were acquitted by the courts.

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