Sunday, 20 April 2014

LN: Klaus's secretary Jakl, lawyer Koudelka prepared amnesty

21 January 2013

Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) - The controversial amnesty that outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus announced on New Year's Day was prepared by Klaus's secretary Ladislav Jakl and lawyers Zdenek Koudelka and Pavel Hasenkopf, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes Saturday.

The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) called on outgoing President Vaclav Klaus on Friday to say who exactly prepared the amnesty he declared on New Year's Day.

Klaus's extensive amnesty provides, among others, for halting criminal proceedings lasting for more than eight years and carrying maximally ten years in prison. This covers some closely watched cases of corruption and serious economic crime, which the opposition but also some coalition politicians criticise.

The Social Democrats even initiated a parliamentary vote of no-confidence in the centre-right government over its responsibility for the amnesty, but the opposition was not strong enough to topple the government of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) on Thursday.

Jakl, who is in charge of the agenda related to pardons granted by the Presidential Office, confirmed to the paper that he participated in the debates on the amnesty's concept and final text.

Hasenkopf is the only lawyer among Klaus's internal aides. Koudelka is a former CSSD MP whom Klaus proposed for constitutional judge but the Senate, dominated by the now opposition CSSD, rejected the proposal last spring.

Both Hasenkopf and Koudelka did not answer the LN's question about their involvement in the preparation of the amnesty.

Hasenkopf recently wrote in a discussion under a blog on legislation that he worked out his own proposal of the amnesty but that Klaus did not choose his version because he considered it too complicated.

The CSSD has called on Klaus to say who prepared the amnesty in order to refute the "dark suspicion" that persons who could be linked to some of the amnestied persons took part in the preparation.

Klaus is currently in Poland and he has a meeting with his Polish and Slovak counterparts, Bronislaw Komorowski and Ivan Gasparovic.

According to an internal document of the Presidential Office cited by LN, Klaus's aides discussed whether the amnesty would apply to two radicals whom Klaus does not like - young leftist labourer Pavel Vondrous who shot plastic pellets from a toy gun at Klaus at a public ceremony last year, allegedly to point to corruption in society, and bus driver Roman Smetana who defaced election posters on buses and called all politicians "liars".

Jakl dismissed this piece of information.

LN writes that the internal document does not say anything about the amnesty's impact on cases of serious economic crime.

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