Friday, 25 April 2014

Insider: Presidential Office legislation head questions amnesty

16 January 2013

Prague, Jan 15 (CTK) - Dana Rimanova, Czech Presidential Office legislation and law department head, wrote in her opinion for President Vaclav Klaus that criminal proceedings continuing for more than six years cannot be lumped together as inappropriately long, the Internet daily Insider writes yesterday.

Rimanova's statement relates to the amnesty that outgoing President Klaus declared on January 1.

Article 2 of the amnesty halts all criminal proceedings lasting for more than eight years providing the punishment does not exceed ten years in prison.

Klaus supported article 2 saying the European Human Rights Court (ECHR) considers such criminal proceedings as inappropeiately long.

Besides, Insider wrote, Klaus asked Rimanova for her expert opinion only after he declared the amnesty.

Klaus referred in media to the ECHR judgements and said the court considers criminal proceedings lasting more than six years as inappropriately long.

"I did not invent this period of time at all. It seemed to me short, therefore I decided to insert number eight instead of number six in the text of the amnesty," Klaus said in daily Mlada fronta Dnes earlier this month.

Rimanova, however, has a different legal opinion, Insider wrote and quoted from her text.

"It ensues from a number of judgements and resolutions....that every case must be examined individually from this point of view (length of proceedings). That is why it cannot be simply and categorically said if the length of the proceedings, irrespective of further facts (for instance, the inactivity of participants and/or other obstacles on their part), exceeds the period of six years, that these are proceedings that last for an inappropriately long time while further circumstances are not examined," Rimanova wrote according to Insider.

Her opinion is dated January 2, 2013, that is one day after Klaus announced the amnesty.

Insider does not say how the internal document leaked from the Presidential Office.

Rimanova confirmed for Insider that Klaus asked her for the opinion, but said she did not participate in the preparation of the amnesty in any way.

Article 2 is the most strongly criticised part of the presidential amnesty because it halts criminal proceedings in a number of serious economic cases with damages running into billions of crowns.

A group of 30 senators have turned to the Constitutional Court with a proposal that it abolish this article of the amnesty.

The senators say it breaches the equality rights of the citizens damaged by the amnestied persons and that it cuts the damaged off from the opportunity to recover their damages.

($1=19.201 crowns)

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