Trial begins of close advisor to former prime minister accused of soliciting huge bribe

The Prague Municipal Court will on Monday begin the trial of Marek Dalík, who is accused of soliciting a bribe of EUR 18 million in 2007 while he was a close advisor to then prime minister Mirek Topolánek. The so-called lobbyist stands accused of demanding the kickback from Austrian armaments firm Steyr to secure a Czech government deal to buy armoured vehicles. If found guilty of attempted fraud, Mr. Dalík, who had no formal state post, could face up to 10 years in prison.