Sunday, 20 April 2014

ČSSD to support stripping Rath of immunity

ČTK |
21 May 2012

Prague, May 20 (CTK) - The Czech mandate committee of the Chamber of Deputies is likely to take a vote on release of deputy David Rath (opposition Social Democrats, ODS) for prosecution on Tuesday in his presence, party head Bohuslav Sobotka said Sunday adding the party will support the vote.

Sobotka, chairman of the committee, said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec on Czech Television (CT) the organisers of the meeting have not yet decided where it will be held.

The police caught Rath with seven million crowns in a wine box on Monday and accused him of corruption. He is now in the custody prison in Litomerice, north Bohemia.

Rath has resigned as Central Bohemia Region governor and left the CSSD, but he still retains the deputy mandate.

"Based on law, he (Rath) has the right to attend the meeting of the (mandate) committee when it discusses his matter. We will hear his opinion and I would be very glad if we could make a decision on the same day," Sobotka said.

State Attorney Lenka Bradacova confirmed Rath has the right to be personally heard at the committee's meeting. She did not comment on Rath's interest in attending other deliberations of the Chamber of Deputies.

Another seven people have been taken into custody in connection with the case, in which corruption is suspected in the planned reconstruction of the chateau in Bustehrad, central Bohemia.

The Chamber of Deputies will deal with the issue at its meeting that starts on June 5. The CSSD as well as Prime Minister and ODS chairman Petr Necas have already said they will support Rath's prosecution.

Sobotka said on CT Sunday Rath must completely leave politics, therefore he should also resign as a deputy.

Sobotka said it is not up to the Chamber of Deputies to decide about whether Rath is guilty, or not, this is up to an independent court.

"We believe that the Chamber of Deputies can by no means halt this issue with its decision. The case must be independently investigated," Sobotka said on CT.

He said the CSSD organisation in Central Bohemia Region has decided to carry out an extensive control of public procurement and the provision of subsidies.

The drawing of financial means from the EU is also being checked, Sobotka said.

"I suppose that it (the central Bohemian party organisation) will draw both personnel and practical conclusions from the results," Sobotka said.

He said public orders will be placed in different way in central Bohemia in the future.

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