Court rules Dalík can go free


A Prague district court has ruled that lobbyist and former close aide to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek, Marek Dalík, will not have to wait out a police investigation behind bars. The controversial lobbyist, who attended top meetings at the former prime minister’s behest, is charged with attempted fraud in the government purchase of 107 Austrian-made armoured personnel carriers. Mr Dalík is suspected of having asked for an 18 million euro bribe for helping to set up the 14.4 billion crown deal. The state prosecutor had asked for the suspect to be remanded in custody for fear he might try and influence witnesses or flee the country. Marek Dalík has hired Tomáš Sokol, one of the country’s best-known lawyers, to defend him in the case. If found guilty as charged, Mr Dalík could face up to 10 years in jail.