Opencard case: a former adviser wants compensation for lawsuits

Vorlíčková and others heard the charges in 2013. At that time, she served first on the council headed by Mayor Svoboda, then Hudeček as an adviser, in charge of IT. Police blamed them for allegedly unfairly favoring Haguess a year earlierthen owner of the opencard rights, when they unanimously approved the subsequent contracts and the municipality approached the company as the only one in the negotiated procedure.

Then begins a long-term trial, during which there was also a change of judge Alexandre Sotolar. He twice found the former counselor guilty, even based on manipulated protocols from the main trial. He also faced disciplinary charges for it. The court eventually acquitted Vorlíčková and Hudeček of the charges.

The Prague 2 District Court started a legal action last December for non-pecuniary damage. Another trial took place this week, in which Eva Vorlíčková answered the judge’s questions about how the whole case affected her life. She had a long speech ready, where she wanted to describe the whole affair since the beginning of her work in politics. However, judge Tomáš Bělohlávek stopped her and asked her to speak in her own words and answer questions.

Many things were discussed during his testimony. She said that as an adviser she solved a number of issues that she thought she inherited from her predecessor.i, with contracts worth hundreds of millions. According to her, some of them competed again, saving half a billion. According to her, Opencard was the biggest problem they faced.

Police reviews

One of the things she repeatedly criticized was the very start of the lawsuits. According to her, her colleagues came into contact with the police soon after she took office in 2011. According to her statement, the police contacted her with a request for cooperation in early 2012.

He was supposed to uncover the criminal activities of his predecessors in the municipality. “Some of us were invited for coffee in the cafes of Prague. Overtime the behavior of the police has become suspiciouswhich resulted in a request from one of them to send documents for an alleged case to his private email,” she said. Then, on his recommendation, they broke off contact. with them. Surprisingly, the same police officers then proposed a lawsuit that concerned her.

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At the end of 2012, she then gave an explanation and she also spoke about what she thought one of the investigators had told her directly. “When he led me out of the building, he leaned over and said, ‘Counsellor, I haven’t been through this yet, it’s a political cause. describes his experience with the police.

Did they know in advance?

The court also explained how the entire lawsuit was announced. It all happened moments before the board meeting at a time when the town was full of journalists. According to her, on her way to the council meeting after ten o’clock, the journalists asked her directly if she knew that the police were waiting for her. She really waited there, and Vorlíčková believes that the media were informed about the prosecution in advance, because at one time very detailed articles were published on the Internet. “As of half past ten, there were headlines everywhere that we were being chased.” she told the court. According to her, the fact that the police chose the moment when the commune was full of journalists was an intention.

Protocols handled

She was also very critical of the conduct of the trial itself, where errors in the protocols emerged. She pointed out that things came up there that weren’t actually heard. She would have had unrevised versions, those authorized by Judge Sotolář only appearing in the file long after the verdict was delivered. “Things that neither of us said were already included in that verdict.” she also noted.

End of political career

Vorlíčková and Hudeček left the TOP 09 due to a case in 2014. She also said in court that it significantly affected her political career, as she no longer sought any office. For this reason, he wants to hear both Hudeček and then party chairman Miroslav Kalousek as one of the witnesses. “It seemed incredible to me that such a contrived process could ruin your career.” she pointed out.

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She mentioned, for example, that she had to explain several times why she would not quit. According to her, several party colleagues did not want her as a candidate and she thus found herself in a very hostile environment, she said. That’s why they finally left the party. “We no longer pursued a political career.” she added.

He should also have suffered a number of political attacks on the council. “Mr Bém (former mayor of Prague for the ODS) even came to insult us once, which was spicy,” she said. The Social Democrats, who formed a coalition with YES in the last legislature, reportedly shouted at her that she was a criminal. “It was disgusting,” she recalled in court.

It also affected the family

The court said the whole case had an impact on his family life. He stated, among other things, that it hit his 90-year-old father a lotwho followed politics a lot. “So far he was fine, and when I got home he was very upset. I tried to calm him down. He died a few days later, he was the starter,” she said.

In court, her son and husband are also expected to speak about the effects on the family as witnesses. According to Vorlíčková, the case also had an impact on his healthand. For example, she still sleeps poorly and ended up on antidepressants throughout the process, she said.

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She lost faith in the rule of law

According to her, she felt primarily tempted to convict her, which was reflected in the approach of both the judge and the experts. According to her, she went to court saying she had faith in the rule of law. She believed she would get justice. “I don’t really trust the rule of law anymore. I think it’s really possible to order prosecutions,” she says.

The Prague City Court acquitted all defendants in the entire case, except for the expressor Bohuslav Svoboda. The previous Chamber of Deputies had not extradited him to prosecute him in 2018, and he was therefore not affected by the appeals. But it came out in January of this year. He remarked that, in his view, the city court would “sweep the whole matter under the table” as in the case of Hudeček and others.

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