Prague Circuit Court confirms acquittal of Bárta and Škárka
The Prague 5 Circuit Court has acquitted the former Transport Ministrer Vít Bárta and former Public Affairs Party MP Jaroslav Škárka of all charges in a bribery case that the court first ruled on in April 2012. The circuit judge Jan Šott thus confirmed a ruling of the Prague Municipal Court from November. Mr Bárta, who is also the former head of the Public Affairs Party deputies club, was accused of bribing his fellow party members Kristýna Kočí and Jaroslav Škárka to gain influence. Because Mr Škárka had spent part of the money he received from Mr Bárta before reporting it, he was also accused of accepting a bribe. Last April, Judge Šott handed down a suspended 18-month sentence to Mr Bárta and a three-year jail sentence for Mr Škárka. But in November, the municipal court accepted the appeals of both defendants, reversing the previous ruling. After confirming the city’s ruling on Wednesday, Mr Šott said that his hands were tied by the higher court’s decision, and that the whole case has become political. The State Attorney’s office will appeal the case with the Municipal Court.