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Poll: Most Czechs support direct custody for terrorism suspect

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Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) – A crushing majority of Czechs or 85 percent support suspects of terrorism being taken into custody without a court decision, according to a poll conducted by the TSN AIsa agency for public Czech Television (CT) that released it yesterday.
However, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (for ANO) pointed out in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec debate on Czech TV that the respondents would have a different opinion if it directly concerned them.
The November poll was inspired by the package of anti-terrorist amendments that the Slovak government submitted to parliament last month.
More than four-fifths of 1,200 respondents also support the restriction of movement across the border in both directions to be imposed on terrorism suspects, along with the possibility of their remanding in custody without a court decision.
Opposition Communist (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip called the idea of custody without a court verdict unacceptable.
“This is a fundamental limitation of personal freedom. I do not know why only the police should deal wit it,” he said.
He added that he considered the 48-hour deadline for detaining a suspect enough time for the state attorney´s office and courts to make decision.
Pelikan expressed a similar view.
“People do not realise that anyone can become suspected and accused of terrorism,” he said.
Czechs would generally be for the tightening of the anti-terrorist legislation. Sixty-one percent would definitely support it and 21 percent would fairly support it.
However, Pelikan is convinced that the current laws are sufficient. “It is absurd to ask people whether the laws they do not know should be tightened,” he noted.
The Slovak government of PM Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy, Smer-SD) has proposed changes to almost 20 laws in connection with the anti-terrorism struggle, including the planned extension of the powers of the police and secret services.

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