Prague - Leader of the Czech Communist Party (KSČM) Vojtěch Filip criticized the Czech public service TV for broadcasting one of the most notorious show trials of communist-era Czechoslovakia.
In 1950, democratic politician Milada Horáková and three co-defendants were sent to the gallows on trumped-up charges of treason and espionage for "imperialist Western powers".
According to Filip, broadcasting the trial just a few days before the European Parliament elections can influence the Czech voters. Therefore he has asked the Czech TV to suspend the program.
Czech TV has been broadcasting the trial called Process H from May 31 - June 9, which are the same days the trial took place in 1950.
"Once again, in the pre-election time and in general, the Czech TV shows its right-leaning tendencies by covering the past, which diverts the viewers' attention from the hot issues, such as the financial crisis," Filip writes in his letter of complaint addressed to Czech TV head Jiří Janeček.
By doing that, Czech TV takes "an entirely primitive anti-communist" stance towards the past, says Filip. It is not the first time the Czech TV has failed to be impartial and objective, he opines.
"If Czech TV wants to be impartial, then it should also broadcast a program about the decision-making processes of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) and Christian Democratic Party (KDU-ČSL) that led to irreversible damage, losses, weakening the country's position and non-constitutional break-up of Czechoslovakia, Czech and Slovak Republics and their citizens," he writes in the letter.
Czech TV head Janeček and program director Kateřina Fričová have immediately responded to Filip's accusations.
„If anyone has a feeling that we broadcast it [the trial] deliberately now, they should have talked to the Communist party in 1950," said Fričová. "KSČM should welcome the program, if they truly want to distance themselves from the "totalitarian" communists," she adds.
Filip claims that KSČM differs from KSČ [Czechoslovakia's Communist Party] in a number of issues.
"But it does not mean that we [KSČM] do not relate to the past as well as to the present [of KSČ]," Filip says, adding that the Czech TV has long been broadcasting anti-communist programs and failing to invite KSČM to TV debates.
Former political prisoners as well as the Milada Horáková Club rejected Filip's complaint, saying that the documentary film offers authentic footage, showing things as they happened in 1950.