Czech state returns some of fugitive Krejcir's seized items

Marek Pokorný Marek Pokorný, Ivan Eckhardt
19. 8. 2014 11:37
Items worth almost one million euros seized from Czech fugitive entrepreneur Radovan Krejcir have been handed over to his lawyers
Radovan Krejcir in South Africa
Radovan Krejcir in South Africa | Foto: Reuters

Prague - Radovan Krejcir, a Czech fugitive entrepreneur living in South Africa, has regained control of some of his property seized by Czech authorities.

The UZSVM, an agency that represents the state in property disputes, returned items worth more than CZK 30 million (almost one million euros) to Krejcir's lawyers from the MSB Legal firm. “We released the property on the basis of a ruling by the Prague Municipal Court, which canceled the seizure of Radovan Krejcir's property,” said UZSVM spokesman Robert Hurt.

The lawyers took the items only a short time before a distraint officer representing one of Krejcir's creditors arrived to the UZSVM.

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The lawyers took away items worth tens of millions of korunas, said Hurt. “It was mostly apartment and sports equipment, for example motorcycles, bicycles, a piano, electronics, furniture or books worth approximately CZK 11.4 million,” he said. Moreover, they also took nine pictures, mostly by Vaclav Spala, worth CZK 19.7 million.

Krejcir is facing a number of distraint processes because of his multi-billion frauds. For example, two houses in Prague's Cernosice neighborhood belonging to Krejcirs have been sequestrated by the state.

However, Hurt says that neither of these distraint processes could prevent the release of the items in question. “The lawyers provided us with a court decision and we had no reason to keep holding the property,” said Hurt.

In the fall of 2013, a court sentenced Krejcir to 10.5 year in prison for fraud, but did not order his property to be forfeited to the state. As a result, Prague Municipal Court judge Pavel Benda eventually ruled at the end of June that there was no reason for the state to keep holding the items.

“No comment,” said Krejcir's lawyer Karolina Babakova, who is also representing Ivo Rittig, a Prague entrepreneur and lobbyist currently prosecuted for his alleged role in the rigging of public contracts awarded by the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) and the leaking of information from the BIS security agency.

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