Monday, 17 December 2018

Gov't bill bans release of info on criminal proceedings

ČTK |
23 July 2018

Prague, July 20 (CTK) - The draft version of the government amendment to the law on processing personal data would limit the law on free access to information and ban the release of information about ongoing criminal proceedings, among others, the Czech Radio (CRo) wrote on Friday.

The law on access to information would not concern providing information on ongoing prosecutions and the persons involved in them except for the court decisions on the cases, if Parliament passed the amendment.

The Chamber of Deputies sent the bill to second reading.

The Interior Ministry, which drafted the bill, argues that its aim is the protection of a fair trial, which might be disturbed by the release of details about the proceedings.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) has been facing prosecution over a suspected fraud of EU subsidies since 2017.

For example, the information that a judge remanded somebody in custody would not be released.

"Online reporting about the criminal proceedings, especially in the preparatory stage, is incompatible with the demand for the protection of a fair trial," Ondrej Kratoska, from the ministry's press section, told CRo.

Kratoska said some countries had even stricter rules to guarantee fair trials.

The ministry said the change would not make the process less transparent.

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