Sunday, 20 April 2014

PM faces criminal complaint for countersigning amnesty

20 March 2013

Prague, March 19 (CTK) - Five people around billionaire Karel Janecek Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas on suspicion of having abused his office by countersigning the presidential amnesty, Janecek's media representatives Bob Fliedr told CTK Tuesday.

The complaint is to complete the recent request by Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Senate constitutional-legal committee chairman Miroslav Antl sent to Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman, Fliedr added.

Necas called it a Czech national sport to lodge criminal complaints. He indicated that it might be a reaction to the Government Office's complaint against Janecek's aide, former intelligence chief Karel Randak, for having released the level of bonuses paid to Necas's cabinet head Jana Nagyova.

"It has slowly become a national sport in this country to file criminal complaints. Anybody can file it against anybody without any sanctions or restrictions," Necas told reporters Tuesday.

He added that the complaint against him was probably inspired by "the not very smart step" by Stech.

The complainants want chief attorney Zeman to look into the circumstances of Necas's countersigning the New Year amnesty that then President Vaclav Klaus declared shortly before his mandate expired.

They say, Necas, chairman of the senior government Civic Democrats (ODS), might be suspected of abuse of office and negligent maladministration since he signed the amnesty without having submitted it to the government for debate first.

"The prime minister may have committed the crimes in collaboration with other persons," Fliedr said.

He added that he expected the police to investigate the role of Necas's close aides in countersigning the amnesty, and check whether Necas had the analysis of the amnesty impact worked out.

"The prime minister should prove whether he saw to the observance of the Czech Republic's international commitments, primarily the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, from 1995," Fliedr pointed out.

Necas should also explain how and when the amnesty was countersigned, Fliedr added.

It is also suspicious that there is no document on the amnesty decision available at the Government Office, he noted.

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

Besides, it 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, including some high-profile corruption and financial fraud cases, which has caused a big outcry.

The Senate, the upper house of parliament, filed a high treason complaint against Klaus with the Constitutional Court (US) over the amnesty and other issues.

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