Vít Bárta corruption trial continues

The trial of former transport minister and head of the junior coalition party Public Affairs’ parliamentary group Vít Bárta for corruption continues on Tuesday. Mr. Bárta is suspected of having given cash bribes to at least two former party members, Kristyna Kočí and Jaroslav Škárka. On the second day of the trial former party member Kristyna Kočí repeated her allegation that Mr Bárta had given her half a million crowns in an envelope in early 2011. She said that their personal relations were strained at the time and that the money was accompanied by a request that she be more loyal and bring the club of party MPs together. She also claimed that all in-party referendums were rigged. Mr Bárta admits to giving the two members money, but says they were personal loans. The trial opened at a Prague district court on Monday and has been the focus of intense media attention, with many news organizations covering it live. Last year, the scandal around Vít Bárta brought the government to the brink of collapse.