Supreme public prosecutor reopens fighter jet corruption case

The Supreme Public Prosecutor Renata Vesecká has reopened an investigation into a case of alleged corruption in the purchase of Jas-39 Gripen fighter jets planned by the Social Democrat government back in 2002. The government in power then approved the purchase of 24 jets from BAE systems/SAAB for 60.2 billion crowns but the deal did not get the necessary backing in Parliament, and was eventually replaced by a later contract, in which the Czech Republic leased 14 jets for 20 billion crowns for ten years. A police investigation into the original deal was twice shelved but a review ordered by the supreme state attorney in December reportedly found the decision to shelve the case was unlawful and premature. According to a spokeswoman for the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, the evidence compiled so far has not sufficiently ruled out corruption in the case.

Author: Jan Velinger