Prague - Two Czech women have filed a complaint against the Czech state, asking for compensation of EUR 5,000. The women say that they paid the same sum in 2005 to a Czech honorary consul in Innsbruck, Austria as a bribe for Austrian judges, reported the Czech Radio.
Lukas Bodner, who served as honorary consul in Innsbruck at the time, denies the allegation. The Czech Republic says that it has nothing to do with the dispute, which is connected exclusively to the former honorary consul.
It is not clear what exactly happened to the money.
In 2005, Austrian police arrested three Czech citizens driving a stolen car. They were put into custody where they were allegedly visited by the consul with his secretary, Vladan Antonovic. The Czech men claim that the consul offered them to arrange a lighter sentence in exchange for money. He allegedly asked them to pay EUR 5,000 in advance and another EUR 5,000 after a lighter sentence would be announced. The girlfriend of one of the arrested men brought EUR 5,000 to the consulate.
“There is no way it was a bribe, I have never given a bribe. It is absolutely unusual in Austria to bribe judges and lawyers. It is possible maybe in the Czech Republic or Italy, but not in Austria,” said Bodner, who no longer serves as honorary consul.
Antonovic, who served as Bodner's secretary at the time, has told the Czech Radio that he accepted the sum to eventually pass it to Bodner, who he says was the men's defense lawyer. However, the two women claim that Bodner has issued no invoice for his alleged legal services.
An Austrian court eventually did not give a lighter sentence - it sentenced the three men to three years in prison, and the women now want the money back from the Czech state.
Lukas Bodner is a son of Ernst Bodner, a famous surgeon who has operated on the late Czech President Vaclav Havel.
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