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Lesy CR and Ministry of Agriculture searched

02.05.2019 − 

The Czech State Forestry Administration Lesy Ceské republiky (Lesy CR) and the Ministry of Agriculture were searched on 25 April as part of a police investigation against former Lesy CR Director-General Daniel Szórád. The searches reported by the Czech media have been confirmed by Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman.

Szórád is accused of the State Forestry Company, under his leadership, not having processed the calamity wood caused by bark beetles and storm events quickly enough. As a result, other forest areas were affected by bark beetles, resulting in damage to Lesy CR amounting to CZK2.4bn (equivalent to €92m). Furthermore, during his term of office between 2014 and May 2018, Szórád had dissolved the forest fund set up to combat damage in the state forest. As a result, Lesy CR had to take out loans at market conditions.

On 11 May 2018, Szórád was dismissed from his post as General Director by the then Minister of Agriculture, Jirí Milek, on the grounds that beetle wood had been processed only with delay. Tomáš Pospíšil had been appointed temporary manager of the State Forest Enterprise on 14 May. Josef Vojácek was appointed as the new Director General of Lesy CR on 3 September after passing through a regular application procedure.

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