Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lawyer hands evidence on amnesty authorship to Zeman

ČTK |
6 May 2013

Prague, May 5 (CTK) - Lawyer Pavel Hasenkopf, legal adviser to former Czech president Vaclav Klaus, passed on the evidence on the authorship of the New Year presidential amnesty to the office of current President Milos Zeman to possibly publish it, Hasenkopf told Czech Television (CT) yesterday.

He said it would be up to Zeman to make the author's name public. However, Hasenkopf added that if the Presidential Office did not release the author's name and did not apologise for its head Vratislav Mynar calling him one of the amnesty authors, he would release the name alone.

The president received the documents on Friday evening and he is studying them now, Presidential Office spokeswoman Hana Burianova told CTK.

She added that the Presidential Office would release more information at the beginning of next week.

Hasenkopf previously said the amnesty had been drafted by the Justice Ministry, which the ministry denied.

Hasenkopf announced that he had given documents proving the identity of the real author of the controversial amnesty to the Presidential Office's filing room on Friday.

"Milos Zeman will know who the author (of the amnesty) is on Monday at the latest," Hasenkopf said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec political discussion on CT yesterday.

Among the documents are complete transcripts of e-mails on the amnesty and its various drafts, including the numbers of computers on which the drafts were written that could reveal the author, Hasenkopf said.

The Justice Ministry has questioned the genuine character of Hasenkopf's documents.

"Pavel Hasenkopf has not proved again that the documents really come from the Justice Ministry. So far it is fully apparent that he has acquired the documents from an internal communication at Prague Castle (the president's office)," ministry spokeswoman Stepanka Cechova told CTK.

However, the Justice Ministry welcomes that they have been passed on to the president, she added.

"It is only up to the president to assess whether he considers it appropriate to release the name of the author, or give a reason why he would keep it secret," Hasenkopf pointed out.

But if the Presidential Office did not release the name, he would do it alone, he added.

"At the same time, I expect Chancellor Mynar to publicly apologise to me for having called me the amnesty author. If not, I will keep defending myself," Hasenkopf told CT.

Klaus declared the controversial amnesty on January 1 shortly before his term in office expired on March 7.

About 6500 convicts have been released from prisons within it.

The presidential 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.

Mynar claimed that Klaus's assistants Ladislav Jakl and Petr Hajek as well as Hasenkopf had been the real authors of the controversial amnesty.

However, they all as well as Klaus denied it.

Mynar also decided to dismiss Hasenkopf from the Presidential office.

Hasenkopf told CT yesterday that he would like to turn to court over his dismissal.

The Presidential Office gave him a choice on Thursday - either he would accept an agreement and leave with severance pay or he would be immediately fired for the violation of work discipline, Hasenkopf said, adding that he would let them sack him and then turn to court.

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