Operation Stoka: Former Deputy Mayor of Brno-Střed Sentenced To 9.5 Years In Prison

Jiří Švachula (ANO), the former Deputy Mayor of the Brno-Střed District, was today sentenced to nine and a half years in prison by the Brno Regional Court for corruption in public procurement. Eight other individuals and two companies were also found guilty, as part of a long-running investigation known as Operation Stoka. Photo Credit: KK / Brno Daily.

Brno, 31 May (BD) – As well as the prison sentence, the court ordered the confiscation of Švachula’s assets, including property, bank accounts, and luxury watches, according to reports in several Czech media outlets. Among the others found guilty were businessmen Pavel Ovcarcin and Saman El-Talabani, who were each sentenced to six years in prison. Several other businessmen and officials within the district administration received suspended sentences, and two were acquitted.

Švachula had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which related to crimes committed between 2015 and 2019. However, the court found that Švachula had led an organised criminal operation in manipulating prices of public contracts, exchanging confidential information over tendering procedures with various firms in exchange for bribes of around 10% of the value of the contract. The firms were preselected to win the contracts at artificially inflated prices, with the money then shared between those involved in the operation. 27 public contracts related to the Brno-Střed municipality were manipulated in this way, and dozens more related to the district’s real estate management activities, totalling up to CZK 47 million in fraudulent payments.

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