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Corruption trial begins in Prague against former defense minister

Martin Bartak, Photo courtesy of WikipediaA high-profile corruption trial began Monday in the Czech capital against the country’s former defense minister, Martin Bartak. The trial follows an investigation into accusations made by a former U.S. ambassador who accused Bartak of asking for a bribe.

Martin Bartak faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted by Prague’s Municipal Court, where the trial began today.

The case dates back to 2010 when former U.S. ambassador, William Cabaniss, accused Bartak of asking for $5 million to solve a problem with a supplier that threatened a $150 million deal for Czech truckmaker Tatra AS.

Cabaniss, who was ambassador to Prague from 2003 to 2006, was then chairman of Tatra’s supervisory board.

Bartak has denied any wrongdoing, and it is not known when a verdict will be announced.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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