Sunday, 20 April 2014

ČSSD deputy chair waiting to learn who created Klaus amnesty

11 February 2013

Prague, Feb 10 (CTK) - Lubomir Zaoralek, deputy chairman of the Czech senior opposition Social Democrats (CSSD), said on Czech Television (CT) yesterday he wants to appeal to President Vaclav Klaus and possibly file a complaint about that Klaus's office has not told him who wrote the latest presidential amnesty.

Zaoralek, who is also deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, said he turned to the Presidential Office in line with the law on free access to information.

Klaus declared an extensive amnesty in his New Year's speech on the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic. It has aroused an outcry because it also halts some big publicly watched corruption and fraud cases.

Zaoralek said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec programme on CT the Presidential Office reacted "utterly arrogantly" to his questions.

"I have received an answer that is not actually an answer from the point of view of law. It is an announcement of that I will be told nothing," Zaoralek said.

The Presidential Office wrote that the president has a constitutional right to grant an amnesty and that he is not obliged to further explain it, Zaoralek said.

Former justice minister Jiri Pospisil, deputy chairman of the senior government Civic Democrats (ODS), agreed with Zaoralek's opinion that Klaus's office should explain such an important move that amnesty is.

"I believe that the public should get information on such an important decision by a public power body that will significantly influence the criminal policy of the country, and I think the influence will be unfortunately negative," Pospisil said.

Reacting to Zaroalek's consideration to file a complaint unless Klaus reacts to his appeal, Pospisil said "I believe that court disputes between politicians do not benefit the situation. On the other hand it is known about me that I disagree with the amnesty."

He said he understands that Zaoralek is trying to get detailed information on the preparation of the amnesty.

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