Former Czech defense minister acquitted by court

PRAGUE (AP) -- A court in the Czech capital has acquitted a former defense minister of bribery charges in a high-profile trial.

Martin Bartak has been charged after a former U.S. ambassador accused him of asking for a bribe. He faced up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Court spokeswoman Marketa Puci said a judge in Prague's Municipal Court ruled Wednesday there was insufficient evidence. The state prosecutor immediately appealed.

The case dates to 2010 when William Cabaniss accused Bartak of asking for $5 million in 2008 to solve a problem with a supplier that threatened a $150 million deal for Czech truckmaker Tatra AS.

Cabaniss, who was chairman of Tatra's supervisory board, was the American ambassador to Prague from 2003 to 2006.

Bartak has denied any wrongdoing.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Stories

  • Trial Beginning
    Twelve Seattle police officers will begin using new body-worn cameras next week

  • Week in Photos
    Penguins, cheetahs and Santa make it in this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.