Former top politician David Rath found guilty of rigging contracts, corruption

Former top Social Democrat politician David Rath was found guilty of rigging public contacts and accepting bribes and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison at Prague’s Regional court on Thursday. The former member of parliament, health minister, and head of the Central Bohemian region was not in court to hear the verdict. Police swooped on Rath three years ago at his home on the outskirts of Prague and found him in possession of a wine box stuffed with seven million crowns hidden inside. Apart from that, the prosecution said that he had received around 16 million crowns in pay-offs and was promised 22 million crowns. Rath cut a controversial figure on the Czech political scene, known for his inflammatory and personal verbal attacks on opponents. Rath told Czech Television he would appeal the verdict and described the court process as “exemplary theatre and nothing at all to do with justice.” The prosecution called for a sentence of at least nine years and confiscation of his assets.

Author: Chris Johnstone