Czech lawmakers threatened with bullets in mail

Aktuálně.cz national news reporters
12. 2. 2008 12:40
Atmosphere before presidential vote remains tense

Prague - The number of legislators who received threats in the nervous atmosphere before the second attempt to elect Czech president later this week is rising. Now they are five.

The latest findings of Aktuálně.cz showed that letters containing bullets were sent also to MPs Michal Pohanka and Miloš Melčák, who were elected as deputies of the main opposition Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) but split from the faction some time ago, allowing the current government to take power despite its being one seat short of majority in the Chamber of Deputies.  

"The envelope contained a letter saying if they vote on Friday, the bullets will end up in their bodies," said a source who is familiar with the details of the case.

What's that? Wild West?

Two more senators of the Association of Independent Candidates (SNK) - Liana Janáčková and Jana Juřenčáková - who unexpectedly voted for the incumbent president Václav Klaus in the vote last Friday and Saturday, received the same threatening letters earlier today.

Aktuálně.cz found out that the envelopes with the bullets inside were discovered by the Senate employees in the morning when they were checking the senators´ mail.

Senator Janáčková who represents the Ostrava region in the upper house of the parliament learned about the mail only from someone else. "If it is true, I find it quite amusing. We are not living in the Wild West, after all," added Liana Janáčková to Aktuálně.cz.

Jana Juřenčáková was not available to comment on the letters.

Another member of the parliament to receive a similar threat was Evžen Snítilý from ČSSD, who abstained from the vote last week instead of supporting Jan Švejnar as the party leadership recommended.

Someone insane?

Head of Christian Democrats´ faction Pavel Severa believes the series of threats is related to the fact that the ballot was public, stressing that next election should be conducted as a secret vote. Christian Democrats are scheduled today to discuss the method of vote and support for one of the candidates.

SNK faction leader Josef Novotný said to Aktuálně.cz that it must have been someone insane. He believes that it is only a continuation of the series of threats following the Saturday's threatening text message that senator Juřenčáková received on her mobile phone and made public.

Are you asleep,
Are you asleep, | Foto: Ludvík Hradilek

"Are you asleep, bitch?! How much did Klaus pay you? We no longer had belief in you in the faction anyway! Shame on you and die!" said the SMS.

The senator from the Zlín region (central-eastern Moravia) also said someone kept calling her mobile phone for the whole night. "I do not know what to think of it," said senator Juřenčáková.

She was also allegedly accused of having met secretly with president Klaus on the election Friday but she defended herself saying she only went to fetch her mobile phone which she left home.

The Senate has already reported the case to the police.

"As the head of the Senate I talked to the Minister of Interior and should the senators ask for police protection, the Minister can provide it to them," said Přemysl Sobotka (Civic Democrats) to Aktuálně.cz.


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