Former US ambassador testifies in Barták case

Former US ambassador to Prague and chairman of the supervisory board at Tatra trucks William Cabaniss testified in court on Monday in the case of former defence minister Martin Barták and arms dealer Michal Smrž charged with corruption in the purchase of Tatra trucks for the Czech army. The prosecution suspects Mr Barták in his capacity as deputy defence minister in 2008 asked the truck maker’s supervisory board head for a five-million dollar bribe. Mr Barták has denied any wrongdoing. In his testimony on Monday, Mr Cabaniss said he did not remember the exact amount asked for (or the currency) but said he found the offer highly inappropriate, suggesting he was completely caught off guard. If convicted, former defence minister Barták faces up to 12 years in prison.

Author: Jan Velinger