Finance Ministry denies responsibility for Czech Republic’s failure to meet registration deadline

The Finance Ministry has denied responsibility for the Czech Republic’s failure to meet a deadline confirming participation in judicial proceedings in Switzerland concerning suspected fraud and money-laundering in one of the Czech Republic’s biggest energy firms – the Mostecká Uhelná coalmining company. Deputy Prime Minister Karolína Peake told Czech Television on Sunday the Czech Republic may lose over 11 billion crowns in assets frozen by the Swiss government earlier this year in connection with the case. Switzerland began a probe into the case in 2005 on suspicion that the company’s directors were embezzling huge sums of money some of which were allegedly being transferred to Swiss accounts within an extensive money-laundering scheme. Seven people have been charged in connection with the case.