Supreme Court Finalizes Verdict in Správy železnic Tender Manipulation Case


The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic has upheld earlier court decisions in the high-profile corruption case involving the Czech Railway Administration (Správy železnic) and SUDOP Praha, a project company. The case, which has been under judicial scrutiny since 2022, reached a conclusion in late April when the court decided, without a public hearing, to reject appeals from both the convicted defendants and the chief prosecutor, Igor Stříž.

The 2020 case revolved around allegations of manipulated tenders for two major railway contracts: the “Technical-operational study – Technical solutions of the VRT” and the “Revitalization of the Chlumec nad Cidlinou – Trutnov line”. The verdict handed down by the Municipal Court in Prague and now upheld by the High Court in Prague, found six individuals guilty, assigning them suspended prison sentences alongside fines and activity bans.

Prominent among the accused were Pavel Suk, former chief construction engineer of Sprava Zeleznic, who received a suspended sentence for obtaining an advantage in awarding a public contract. Other defendants included Petr Lapáček, former Commercial Director of SUDOP Praha, and his subordinate Helena Mazancová, as well as Antonín Blažek and Petr Kaván from the Railway Research Institute, and Lukáš Hruboň, manager from the design company Valbek.

Despite their claims of innocence, the courts determined that the individuals and SUDOP Praha manipulated the bidding process to ensure SUDOP was consistently the lowest bidder, thereby securing the contracts under scrutiny. The alleged collusions involved setting predetermined prices with competitors, with SUDOP securing the first contract at 34.4 million crowns and the second at 18.8 million crowns, both excluding VAT.

While the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the lower court’s rulings confirms the sentences of the individuals, it also rejects the prosecutor’s request for a harsher punishment for the defendants and the acquitted SUDOP Praha, effectively ending the legal proceedings in this case. According to court spokeswoman Gabriela Tomíčková, full justification of the Supreme Court’s decision is pending release.

Here is a link to our previous article about this case: