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Ombudsman dealing with return of property seized by Communists

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Brno, June 26 (CTK) – The Czech ombudsman’s office still deals with the complaints regarding the return of the property confiscated by the Communist regime which started in the early 1990s, deputy ombudsman Stanislav Krecek told journalists on Tuesday.

In the past five years, the office received almost 150 of them, on average two a month, Krecek said.

As of July, the restitution process is to end, but the Constitutional Court will express its opinion on the affair on Wednesday.

The return of property only partly falls under the ombudsman’s office. It can examine the cases dealt with by land offices.

“The people who turn to us either disagree with the rejection of their restitution claim or they believe they can have some claim inherited from their ancestors,” Krecek said.

“If the past property arbitrariness is to be reprived, the restitution claim must be raised in time, which is no longer possible at present,” Krecek said.

In 2010, the ombudsman asked for the statistical figures on the unfinished restitution claims. According to the data, almost 450,000 administrative hearings were held within the restitution process, which culminated between 1994 and 1996.

Decisions were made on 1.7 million hectares of land. A total of 553 cases were unfinished.

This year, the ombudsman asked for the same statistics, finding out that there were still almost 300 unfinished cases.

On July 1, the restitution process is to end. This meant the release of alternative land for the agricultural land confiscated under the Communist regime. The eligible persons are only to receive financial compensation. This relates to about 56,000 entities.

However, the Constitutional Court is yet to deal with this. It will say on Wednesday how it decided on the proposal by a group of senators to cancel a part of the law on the State Land Office.

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