Miroslav Kalousek, the Czech Finance Minister, has some serious explaining to do and based on the evidence it seems only a miracle will save his political career. The country’s authorities are reported to have started a criminal investigation into the alleged fact that Kalousek accepted bribes from an online sportsbooks in Czech Republic.
Various sources report that the Minister awarded online betting licenses back in 2008 in exchange for cold, hard cash under the table. Czech criminal investigators will focus on bribery and abuse of power allegations and if convicted, Miroslav will be giving financial advice only to organized crime bosses in the notorious Prague Central Prison.
Czech Republic gambling news report that the country’s anti-corruption forces are investigating the allegations circling around Penta Investment Group. The group’s co-founder Marek Dospiva is rumored to have “donated” CZK 11 million ($613,000) to the Finance Minister’s political party TOP 09.
Naturally the exchange of money didn’t take place openly and a middle man was used. Sources close to the investigation name Dusan Novotny as the middle man, who assisted in transferring money from Penta Group to the TOP 09 political party.
The ultimate goal of the “donation” was to secure the five online gambling licenses later awarded to gaming companies now operating under Czech gambling laws. The companies in question include Sazka, Fortuna, Synot Tip, Tipsport and Chance.
Miroslav Kalousek defended himself in front of the media: “It’s simply an absurd fabrication, the only aim of which could be to give me a bad name in the media, if possible, before the TOP 09 annual party conference. There’s not a grain of truth in it.”
He went on to add: ”A range of companies received permission, and I can completely rule out that there was any sort of corrupt motive behind the decision or that I received any kind of backhand payment for it. Some sort of police provocation is probably behind the investigation.”
The current investigation was launched after renowned Czech lawyer and MP Tomas Jarolim launched a criminal complaint earlier this year.