Zelezny Acquitted in Czech Court

By FNE Staff

    PRAGUE: In connection with one of the longest and most prominent international legal cases in the Czech Republic, Vladimir Zelezny, the former Director of Central European Media Enterprises' (CME, www.cetv-net.com) was acquitted 25 May 2011 in a Czech court on appeal over charges of trying to harm a creditor. In a lower court case, he had received a suspended three year sentence and a fine of CZK3 million.

    Zelezny and his two lawyers had previously been found guilty of transferring property between 1999-2001 to avoid paying debts to CME, after his illegal seizure of control of Nova TV. CME won a settlement of some $500 million dollars from the Czech government in a highly publicized international court verdict.

    The Zelezny debt was reportedly covered by PPF and MEF Holding companies, owner of the company which holds the license for Nova TV.

    In an unrelated case, Zelezny was previously found guilty of tax evasion in connection with importing paintings into the Czech Repubic.

    Zelezny was a former Member of the European Parliament, where he was stripped of his immunity in connection with the CME case. He subsequently went on to launch private channel Joj TV in Slovakia, a competitor to CME's Slovak station, Markiza TV.