VZP headquarters. Credit: Pisecky86 – Vlastní dílo, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53016692

Knizek Sacked As VZP Deputy Director Over Dosimeter Corruption Affair

Tomas Knizek was removed from the post of deputy director of the General Health Insurance Company (VZP) yesterday, VZP spokesman Vlastimil Srsen told CTK, without elaborating. Media reports linked Knizek to the so-called Dosimeter case, related to alleged vast corruption at Prague’s Public Transport Company (DPP).

In late June, the police organised crime squad (NCOZ) issued allegations against a dozen people in the Dosimeter case. The accused include former Deputy Mayor of Prague Petr Hlubucek (STAN), entrepreneur Michal Redl and members of the DPP management.

Simultaneously with a raid of the DPP, the police also raided premises of VZP, the Czech Republic’s largest public health insurance company.

Knizek, VZP‘s deputy director for IT, has been on unpaid leave since.

In late June, VZP said that Knizek was not among those implicated in the Dosimeter case and that the company would wait for the conclusions of the investigation at the end of August before deciding on his future. At the same time, the company launched an internal audit of the public orders placed by its IT section under Knizek.

According to the Denik N server, citing police investigators, two entrepreneurs prosecuted in the Dosimeter case, Pavel Dovhomilja and Pavel Kos, together with Knizek, demanded commissions from the companies supplying IT services to VZP.

The Dosimeter case has led to the removal of five out of the six members of the DPP board of directors and three members of the DPP supervisory board. Hlubucek resigned from STAN and all his political posts. In late June, Petr Gazdik (STAN) resigned as Education Minister over his contacts with Redl, but kept his seat as an MP.

The new Education Minister, Vladimir Balas (STAN), told Denik N yesterday that Milan Stabl, the deputy education minister for IT and public procurement, will leave the ministry as of 19 August over his former cooperation with Ludek Steffel, a suspect involved in the Dosimeter case, who Stabl recruited as a new adviser to the Ministry of Education in spring.

When replacing Gazdik at the ministerial post in late June, Balas said he would probably not want to continue cooperating with Stabl, and indicated that he expected Stabl to leave on his own accord.

Last week, Seznam Zpravy reported that there were also regular contacts between Redl and Petr Mlejnek, the recently appointed head of the civilian intelligence service (UZSI). The lower house commission for the supervision of UZSI is to discuss the issue on 25 August, and Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) intends to discuss it with Vit Rakusan, the leader of STAN and the interior minister who appointed Mlejnek as UZSI head on 8 July.

The opposition ANO movement has threatened to call a vote of no confidence in the cabinet unless Fiala sacks Rakusan over the Mlejnek-Redl links.