No release in sight for imprisoned Rath

David Rath, photo: CTK

The legal team representing former central Bohemian governor David Rath has filed a complaint over the 14 million crown bail set by a district court which effectively blocked any chance of release. The deadline for posting bail came and went on Thursday, with family members reportedly only being able to come up with a little over a third of the needed amount.

David Rath,  photo: CTK
Even had the legal team posted bail, in the end it wouldn’t have made any difference: the state attorney overseeing the case effectively settled the matter when he first filed a complaint – not over the bail’s amount – but the fact that bail had been set, period. State attorney Petr Jirát told Czech TV on Thursday that the grounds for remanding Mr Rath in custody had not changed since the fallen south Bohemian governor was first caught with an alleged seven million crown bribe by police. Here’s what he had to say:

“[If he was released] there is a very real possibility [that Mr Rath] could try and hide from justice or flee the Czech Republic. The reasons are numerous...”

By contrast, Mr Rath’s lawyers there is little evidence the fallen governor would opt for such an extreme step, citing – above all – strong family ties. Lawyer Adam Černý:

“He has a lot of ties here, he’s lived here all his life, he has two families, he has his father.”

The complaints mean that the bail decision will now be reviewed by a higher-instance court and there are several possibilities over how it could decide; Judge Jiří Wažik, who issued the original decision, said the court might rule that a lowering or raising of the amount was impermissible. Likewise, the court could rule the amount set was excessive. In any case, the matter will then return to the district court for Prague-East to be decided again. So far Mr Rath’s lawyers are keeping quiet on exactly how they will handle matters then.

Adam Černý  (left),  David Rath's father Ratmír Rath  (right),  photo: CTK
From behind bars, meanwhile, there are signs the former regional governor may be losing his patience: on Thursday in an interview for daily Mladá fronta Dnes Mr Rath issued a thinly-veiled warning to fellow members of the Social Democratic party that the public could soon learn how the party raised money for its election campaigns. The MP previously hinted that the alleged bribe he was caught with was money that was destined for party coffers. The Social Democrats were quick to respond: party leader Bohuslav Sobotka wasted no time saying David Rath was trying to avoid blame by any means possible – resorting, he said, to half-truths and outright lies.