Saturday, 19 April 2014

Constitutional Court rejects proposal to overturn Klaus amnesty

13 February 2013

Brno, Feb 12 (CTK) - The Czech Constitutional Court (US) yesterday rejected the Prague City Court's proposal for the abolition of the whole amnesty that outgoing President Vaclav Klaus declared on New Year, US protocol head Vlastimil Goettinger has told CTK.

The US judges are still assessing a proposal for the abolition of part of the amnesty halting lengthy prosecution that was filed by a group of senators.

The City Court's proposal was first rejected because the senators' complaint was delivered earlier, and this is why the US will deal with the amnesty on the basis of the senators' arguments.

The other reason is the fact that the City Court proposed that the whole amnesty be abolished though the courtt was to apply only the article on the halting of long-term prosecution in its model case.

yesterday's verdict does not anticipate the decision on the senators' complaint, Goettinger said.

The proposal of the Prague City Court, written by judge Kamil Kydalka, says the main shortcoming of the amnesty is that the government did to discuss it beforehand, according to available information. The presidential amnesty was only countersigned by Prime Minister Petr Necas, which is a necessary requirement for its validity.

President Vaclav Klaus's amnesty applies to convicts with low suspended or prison sentences and elderly convicts.

It also halts criminal proceedings if they lasted for more than eight years, and if the maximum prison sentence that can be imposed in such cases does not exceed ten years. Especially this provision was sharply criticised since it applies to some serious financial crime cases.

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