Prague, Oct 26 (CTK) – The Presidential Office has proposed a postponement of the distraint for ignoring the verdict that it must apologise for slander of the late Czechoslovak journalist Ferdinand Peroutka, Jiri Ovcacek, spokesman for President Milos Zeman, told CTK yesterday.
Zeman keeps insisting that he read Peroutka’s article called “Hitler is a Gentleman” and he says he can hardly apologise for making it up. Ovcacek searched for the article for a long time, but in vain. Czech historians said Peroutka wrote no such text.
The public Czech Television (CT) reported that the proposal has no influence on the deadline for paying a fine of 100,000 crowns that the distrainer imposed on Zeman’s office, which expires on Thursday, October 27.
As the ruling on the distraint has not taken effect yet, the distrainer cannot freeze the office’s bank account even if it does not pay the fine by Thursday.
Unless the proposal for postponement has formal defects, a distraint court will receive it next week and either meet it or reject it within 15 days.
Zeman said last year that Peroutka showed pro-Nazi leanings and Peroutka’s granddaughter took the matter to court, which ruled that the Presidential Office must apologise to her. As the office did not do so within the seven-day deadline, Kaslova filed a distraint proposal against it.
The court verdict has taken effect, but both Zeman’s office and Kaslova filed a recourse with the Supreme Court. The Presidential Office challenges the fact that it, in other words the Czech state, should bear responsibility for Zeman’s actions. Kaslova demands that the office apologise even more.
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 United States.