Thursday, 23 November 2017

SPD head Okamura conceals transactions worth CZK 15 million

ČTK |
26 October 2017

Prague, Oct 25 (CTK) - Tomio Okamura, leader of the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), which succeeded in the weekend general election, has not included financial transactions worth 15 million crowns in his property statement for 2016, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Wednesday.

Okamura has concealed the sale of his apartment in the Vinohrady lucrative neighbourhood in Prague for ten million crowns and a loan of up to five million, the paper writes.

Okamura told CTK that he wanted to correct his property statement before the elections already and he asked the Chamber of Deputies mandate and immunity committee to make the correction. He said the committee told him no correction of submitted property statements was possible.

Okamura said the defects in his property statement were only technical.

All deputies are obliged to annually submit their property statements with all revenues and financial obligations.

Okamura was elected MP in 2013 and re-elected in the October 20-21 election, in which his anti-Islam and anti-immigration populist party fared fourth with 10.6 percent of the vote.

Okamura said he had not concealed anything intentionally and that his accountant was filling in his property statement.

The Justice Ministry is dealing with discrepancies in politicians' property statements.

It has sent Okamura'a case to the municipal office in his place of permanent residence that will decide whether the MP committed a minor offence violating the law on conflict of interest, MfD writes citing Jiri Kapras, head of the conflict of interest section at the Justice Ministry.

Okamura has put only his 15-million-crown-income from firms and other business activities in the box of incomes over 500,000 crowns in his property statement. He said he had calculated the money for the sale of the apartment into his business incomes. However, he is not running business in real estate officially and besides, he sold his private flat in this case, MfD writes.

It was sold to former supreme estate attorney's office head Renata Vesecka, it adds.

Besides, Okamura has concealed his loan for which he vouched with the sold apartment first, but last year he transferred the obligations to his only real estate left, a plot in Prague-Brevnov, MfD says.

Billionaire businessman and former minister Andrej Babis, whose ANO scored a landslide in the election gaining almost 30 percent of the vote, faced problems with his property statement as well.

The mandate and immunity committee asked the local office in Cernosice in the spring to look into discrepancies in Babis's statement. However, the office shelved the case since it was statute barred.

The committee dealt with the discrepancies between the data in Babis's income report and those he released in a recent audit of his incomes. Babis said previously that the discrepancy between his property statement and his released incomes was caused by his accountant who had written gross incomes in the property statement, but wrongly marked them as the incomes after taxation.

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