Credit: Freepik

Former Head of Zeman’s Presidential Office Charged With Subsidy Fraud

A public prosecutor has charged Vratislav Mynar, former head of the Presidential Office under Milos Zeman, over a subsidy he received for the reconstruction of his boarding house in Osvetimany, in the Zlin Region. The Brno Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Hynek Olma confirmed media reports to CTK yesterday.

Mynar has been charged with subsidy fraud and damaging the financial interests of the European Union.

Mynar’s company Clever Management won the CZK 6 million subsidy 13 years ago, but the authorities later found that the company had applied for the money unlawfully. The company returned the subsidy in April 2023.

Mynar has been accused since 2021 of subsidy fraud and damaging the European Union’s interests. He denies any guilt.

Speaking to CTK, Mynar said he believed that he would have space to defend himself before the court, and described his charges as expedient.

“I welcome and look forward to the fact that after more than four years, I will finally have the opportunity to defend myself publicly in the criminal proceedings that the police have been conducting against me,” he told CTK. According to Mynar, the real investigation occurred only in the past few months.

Seznam Zpravy reported that although Mynar faced between two and eight years in prison for his alleged crimes, prosecutor Martin Malus is proposing a lower sentence according to the criminal qualification. Brno court spokeswoman Klara Belkovova confirmed to CTK that the prosecutor has proposed a suspended sentence of three to four years and a fine of CZK 10 million.

Neither Mynar’s defence lawyer Lukas Trojan nor Mynar himself have commented on the indictment or its content. Trojan only said he was unable to comment on anything in the case due to confidentiality.

The European subsidy for the boarding house in Osvetimany was allocated to the company by the office of the Central Moravian Regional Council for Cohesion, which managed the distribution of some EU subsidies.

After an audit of the funding, which uncovered irregularities, the authority asked the police to investigate the subsidy. According to the office, contrary to the instructions, Clever Management did not state in its application for the subsidy that the Education Ministry had previously subsidised the construction.

According to Seznam Zpravy, the Education Ministry approved CZK 13 million for guest houses for athletes from the Chribak Association in 2008, of which Mynar was the administrator. The project was subsequently taken over by Clever Management, which signed a lease contract with the association.

However, the server reported, the contract violated the terms of the subsidy, since the association was not allowed to rent the building to anyone for ten years. The police have concluded that the subsidy was paid out illegally.

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