Brno Mayor Suspected of Acquiring Municipal Flat Using Proxies, Claim Media Reports
Vankova told CTK that she had no information about the case. Credit: Marketa Vankova, via Facebook.
Brno/Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) – Investigators from the Czech police’s organised crime squad (NCOZ) suspect Brno Mayor Marketa Vankova (ODS) of involvement in the dubious allocation of non-residential property in Brno, attempting to gain control of them through proxies, according to reports from Seznam Zpravy this morning.
In the document outlining allegations against two suspects, NCOZ alleges that housing for Vankova was originally intended to be built on the property of a house on Hlinky, and that her relatives played the role of proxies in the plan.
The Seznam Zpravy report recalls that Justice Minister Pavel Blazek (ODS), in his capacity as minister, asked the Prosecutor’s General Office for information on this branch of the case.
On 10 August, the High Prosecutor’s Office in Olomouc announced that it had launched criminal proceedings against four people in connection with the allocation of non-residential properties on Brno’s Hlinky, overlooking the exhibition centre. Two of them are already the subject of criminal prosecution, and the other two are being prosecuted for the first time. Public prosecutor Petra Lastovecka refused to disclose to CTK whether those in question held any political posts.
Criminal investigators suspect three people of bribery, one of complicity, and another of fraud.
Asked by CTK whether she had any information about the case, Vankova replied that she did not.
“It seems credible to the police that the loft premises were originally intended for Vankova, who had the lease contracts formally concluded for her brother-in-law and his common-law wife, who themselves did not have sufficient funds for the possible construction of the flats,” according to the NCOZ investigators’ document cited by Seznam Zpravy, presenting the accusations against two suspects, Denisa Hlubocka and Monika Janoskova. The police charged both as early as last autumn, the server adds.
Hlubocka partially cooperated with detectives, saying she was part of a group that manipulated the allocation and privatisation of municipal flats in Brno on a larger scale.
“Police officers have the testimony of a second cooperating defendant who describes the system run by ODS politicians. The first is a well-known former South Moravian Civic Democrat, Pavel Hubalek, also accused in the case,” Seznam Zpravy reported.
According to the report, both Blazek and Vankova have described Hubalek as a fraud who is lying to avoid his own prosecution.
Seznam Zpravy reported that detectives believe that one loft space was intended for use by Vankova, even though the management of the Brno-Stred Town Hall, filled with her fellow ODS party members, officially allocated it to her brother-in-law and his common-law wife in 2012, while Vankova sat on the council deciding on this.
The allocation of the flats was signed by then mayor Libor Stastka (ODS). He told the police that he did not know he was signing the lease for a councillor’s relatives. Vankova’s relatives later asked the town hall to transfer the allocated loft space to another couple. The police are of the view that they were just stooges, according to the server.
Vankova eventually chose another flat. The premises on Hlinky are managed by a man who has no lease contract with the town at all. One flat is rented by students and the other is used for tourists, the server wrote.