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Benet Czech Spol sro v Czech Republic

In Benet Czech Spol sro v Czech Republic (ECHR – 21 October) the Czech tax authorities charged the controlling shareholder of a company with tax evasion. In September 2001 the prosecuting authorities seized more than €300 000 which had been deposited in the company’s bank accounts. The money was returned to the company in March 2008. The company applied to the ECHR contending that the length of the seizure was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR rejected the application finding that ‘the prosecuting authorities were faced with an alleged crime that was highly sophisticated and extensive’ and holding that there had been no breach of the Convention.

Why it matters: The ECHR held that in a case involving an allegation of a sophisticated tax fraud it was not unreasonable for the tax authorities to seize funds which were believed...

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