“He was sick to death and under the care of doctors, so the court pardoned businessman Jiří Syrovátka, a former business partner of Tomáš Pitre, of his five-year prison sentence for tax fraud in 2008. At the time, the man was – according to photographs obtained and verified by Radiožurnál – on a beach on the French Riviera or skiing in the Italian Alps,” Radiožurnál explains on its website.
Syrovátka did not appear in the trial that put him and Pitre behind bars in 2006. The reason was supposed to be colon cancer. In 2007, he was supposed to have been operated on at a clinic in Rome.
“Radiožurnál has photos with a data trail that show the deathly ill businessman walking on the beach in the French resort of Saint Tropez and posing with his son on the local golf course just a few weeks after the operation, namely in October 2007,” the radio station’s website reports.
A few months later, he went skiing in the Italian Dolomites. This was at a time when he was documented to be in an advanced stage of cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, which had to be discontinued “due to significant complications and side effects.”
It was also for this reason that the experts judged his condition to be hopeless, pointing out that only five per cent of patients with his prognosis live to five years. This eventually convinced the municipal court judge, Peter Novak, to remit his sentence in June 2008, after two postponements of his entry into prison.
“After the surgery, he is under permanent medical care… It can definitely be stated that the health condition of the convicted Syrovacka precludes him from taking up a prison sentence at the present time and in the foreseeable future, as it is impossible to provide in a prison or in a specialized medical facility of the prison service treatment appropriate to the needs of the sick person,” Judge Petr Novák wrote in the ruling, which Radiožurnál obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The suspicious background of the case is now being investigated by the Municipal State Prosecutor’s Office in Prague.