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Distrainer fines Czech Presidential Office over ignored apology

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – A distrainer has imposed a fine of 100,000 crowns on the Presidential Office for ignoring the verdict that it must apologise for slander of Czechoslovak journalist Ferdinand Peroutka, Frantisek Vyskocil, lawyer for Peroutka’s granddaughter who filed the complaint, told journalists yesterday.
If the Presidential Office does not fulfil its duty, the distrainer can attach its account.
The distrainer chose the highest possible fine because the state should be the first to respect valid court decisions, Vyskocil said.
Peroutka (1895-1978) was a prominent democratic journalist during the interwar period. He was imprisoned by the Nazi regime in 1939-1945. He left the country after the 1948 communist coup and later worked for Radio Free Europe. He died in the USA.
At a conference last year, Zeman said that Peroutka published the article “Hitler is a Gentleman” in his Pritomnost magazine, probably in 1936.
Historians have warned that Peroutka never wrote the article in question and that it was written by a different journalist. Peroutka’s granddaughter Terezie Kaslova then sued the Presidential Office over slander.
A court ruled in early October that the Presidential Office has to apologise to her. However, the office has not done so. Reacting to its reluctance, Kaslova proposed that a distraint be imposed on the Presidential Office.
($1 = 24.809 crowns)

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