The case is being supervised by the Prague High Public Prosecutor's Office. Credit: VitVit, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

No Arrests or Charges Following Police Raid of IKEM Hospital in Prague

A police raid of the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) in Prague today finished without any arrests or charges, as the police were only at the hospital to secure evidence, said the National Center against Organized Crime (NCOZ) spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej in a press release.

The case is being supervised by the Prague High Public Prosecutor’s Office, he added.

Officers from both the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS) and NCOZ have been intervening at IKEM since this morning. The police raid is connected with the hospital’s former director Michal Stiborek, according to reports from Seznam Zpravy. Detectives are searching the premises and seizing documents at the hospital, the server wrote.

“The NCOZ has been taking steps towards criminal proceedings in relation to IKEM since today. We can state that no person was detained or accused. The criminal proceedings are aimed at securing evidence,” Ibehej said, adding that the police would not provide further information at this time.

GIBS were investigating suspected extortion and constraint during the raid, while police officers from NCOZ were looking into possible manipulations of contracts and corruption, Czech Television reported.

“I can confirm that we are taking criminal proceedings steps in this medical facility,” GIBS spokeswoman Ivana Nguyenova told the server earlier today.

GIBS investigates criminal offences committed by police officers and other members of the security forces.

IKEM spokeswoman Marketa Senkyrova also confirmed the police intervention at the hospital. “I can confirm the presence of the security forces at IKEM,” she told Seznam Zpravy.

The server also reported that the case concerns the pressure exerted, among others, on cardiac surgeon Jan Pirk from IKEM. He stood up against extending Stiborek’s mandate as IKEM director.

In an interview with Seznam Zpravy, Pirk said that Stiborek, as director of IKEM, had presented fake compromising documents to him, alleging that Pirk had illegally enriched himself. “They concerned some of my personal finances. But they were also related to my work as a doctor at IKEM,” Pirk said. He informed the police about the case because it had caused him psychological harm, he added.

The server also reported that investigators were looking into the case of at least one other doctor. The suspected threats included “criminalisation”, meaning that the suspects were discussing friendly police officers, which is why GIBS took up the case.

Stiborek resigned this month after Seznam Zpravy reported on his business activities, in particular that he gained tens of millions of crowns in recent years through his company lending money at exorbitant interest and with high contractual penalties.

Health Minister Vlastimil Valek (TOP 09) said he did not yet have any information on the matter.

He told journalists in the Chamber of Deputies this morning that the ministry and IKEM, as its subordinate organisation, were ready to provide maximum cooperation. He said he supposed the police action was not related to Stiborek’s recent resignation.

“It is very unlikely, because those morally contemptible cases do not concern the director’s work for IKEM,” Valek said. The hospital is a huge organisation in terms of construction and investments, he noted.

Representatives of IKEM said they were fully cooperating with the security forces. “The current situation has no impact on the provision of healthcare services at the hospital, nor does it restrict the operation at its individual workplaces,” they wrote.

Stiborek served as the economic director and chief operating officer of the institute from 2011, and led IKEM from 2018.

Glenias House, of which Stiborek is the sole managing director and owner, has been lending money through Califica, to which it has gradually sent at least CZK 54 million, according to Seznam Zpravy. Califica, which is controlled by Jaroslav Holan, already convicted of embezzlement in another case, subsequently lent money to individual clients at an interest rate of 48% per year and with high contractual penalties of up to CZK 140,000 per day. Stiborek claims he did not know the end users of the loans, but was told by Holan that the loans went to business entities.

Stiborek said the money he put into the company came from his family finances he had earned by selling his house and apartment, some of which also came from his salary in high managerial positions, and some of which was borrowed. He added that he had quit the business in February 2020.

IKEM is a subsidised organisation directly managed by the Ministry of Health. It was established on 1 January 1971 by merging six previously independent research institutes on the premises of the Thomayer Hospital in Prague-Krc. Today, it is the largest specialised clinical and scientific research institute in the Czech Republic. It focuses on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, organ transplants, diabetes and metabolic disorders. It is one of the leading centres with this focus in Europe and, in some aspects, in the world.

No Arrests or Charges Following Police Raid of IKEM Hospital in Prague
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