Minister Vojtech Axes Prague Hospital Director Over Bribery Prosecution

Andrej Babiš, ANO, Capi hnizdo

Prague, July 4 (CTK) – Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) today sacked Prague Na Bulovce Hospital director Frantisek Novak who has been accused within an extensive case of manipulations with public orders, the hospital spokesman Marek Salek has told CTK.


Vojtech said he sacked Novak because of his prosecution. He said Novak need not be guilty but it was unacceptable for him to remain the director of the hospital that is supervised by the ministry. Moreover, Novak was unable to explain the suspicions, Vojtech said.


New tenders for all the contracts that were allegedly manipulated must be declared, he said.


Last week, the police raided two big Prague hospitals, Na Bulovce and Na Frantisku as well as other institutions in the city and the surrounding region. Novak was arrested within the raid and later released.


Robert Zelenak resigned as director of the Prague Na Frantisku Hospital earlier this week.


The police have accused nine people, including Novak and Zelenak, and two of the suspects have been remanded in custody – businessman Tomas Horacek and Na Bulovce Hospital former director Andrea Vrbovska.


When Minister Vojtech dismissed her as hospital director, he said Vrbovska was suspect of being under the influence of lobbyist groups. Novak replaced Vrbovska as he was her deputy. He became director in May. The ministry started a check in the hospital.


Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradacova said the suspected were accused of bribe taking, bribe giving and a public procurement fraud.


Czech Radio (CRo) reported previously that a former manager of the Eurest company, Antonin Tvrdon, is among the accused. The accusations were also leveled against the Compass Group company, successor to Eurest.


CRo writes on its website today that the police wiretappings showed that Horacek demanded a bribe of 7.2 million crowns from the MW Dias firm in exchange for arranging that the firm would win a tender for cleaning services in the Na Bulovce hospital. Horacek claimed he wanted not a bribe but an adequate 5-percent profit from the contract, CRo said.


The police investigators consider Horacek the mastermind of the corruption network.