Controversial businessman convicted for fraud released on bail
For several years now, the fact that Czech society has been plagued by serious economic crime in its first decade of freedom has been common knowledge - newspapers reported on it, people complained about it and the politicians kept promising to do something about it. But very little was done. That is until recently - in the past few weeks there has been a spate of high profile convictions - the most high-profile of all being the sentencing of tennis player-turned businessman Milan Srejbr on fraud charges. But on Thursday, Milan Srejbr walked free from prison. He's appealed against his five-and-half-year sentence, and under Czech law - until the appeal has been heard - he's a free man. Rob Cameron has more.
It may be legally possible, but is it morally right? Vaclav Zak, editor in chief of the bimonthly Listy, doesn't think so. Milan Srejbr is a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. He was the secret donor behind a 14-million crown gift to the right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party in the mid 1990s. The party's inept attempts to cover up Mr Srejbr's gift - made weeks before he was awarded the contract to privatise a steelworks - contributed to the collapse of the Civic Democrat government in late 1997. Vaclav Zak said there were countless cases of economic crime and corruption during the transformation period: