A former Czech health minister and regional governor was arrested last week for allegedly accepting bribes and embezzling EU funds, the BBC reports.David Rath was caught with a wine box filled with seven million koruna (about $356,000).
Rath claims he was framed, saying he didn’t know the box had money in it, and the whole incident seemed like the “social execution of a politician”. But since the police found another 30 million koruna (about $1.5 million) under the floorboards of Rath’s house (according to Radio Prague), that doesn’t sound very likely.
While parliamentarians have immunity from prosecution, Czech law states that an MP caught red-handed can be arrested and stripped of his or her immunity. The Chamber of Deputies will decide if Rath can be prosecuted at its session that starts June 5, according to CTK.
Rath has since resigned as governor of Central Bohemia and left the opposition Social Democrat party (CSSD). He was put in prison, along with seven others, by a judge over fears he would flee or influence witnesses.
Rath is the first MP to be held in prison since 1998 in the Czech Republic, Reuters reports. The incident not only has national consequences, coming at a time of public outrage against corruption and recession, but also international consequences: the Czech Republic could now be in danger of losing EU funding, Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek told CTK on Sunday.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.