President Klaus rejects pardon for communist prosecutor

23. 9. 2008 16:35
Vesecká based her plea on humanitarian grounds

Praha - President Václav Klaus rejected a pardon request for former Communist prosecutor Ludmila Brožová-Polednová who was sentenced to six years in prison for sending pro-democratic politician Milada Horáková to the gallows in 1951.

The pardon request was filed by Supreme State Attorney Renata Vesecká who backed her plea on humanitarian reasons. "I don't want contemporary justice to behave in the same way as that in the 1950s and imprison an elderly person," Vesecká reasoned her plea.

It was Vesecká who demanded reopening the case of Brožová-Polednová. Originally, the Supreme Court suspended the proceeding on the grounds that the crime is already time barred.

"I share the same view with the Supreme State Attorney [Vesecká] -  the issue of the jail sentence for Ludmila Brožová-Polednová is problematic," explained President Klaus in his reply to Vesecká.

"I do think the six-year sentence for someone who is almost 87-year old is contentious. But I do not think presidential pardon is the correct tool that should be used to resolve the conflict between guilt and effectiveness of such a belated verdict for someone of this age," elaborated Klaus.

The 86 year-old former prosecutor Brožová-Polednová may have to start her jail sentence, should not the doctors decide otherwise.

Not reconciled yet

President Klaus believes that granting pardon to Brožová-Polednová would negate the court´s verdict.

"I don´t agree that by granting presidential pardons only the head of state may determine the dimension of justice in the country. A court is obliged to consider all aspects of the case and I assume this is what they did," said Klaus.

In his view, sending one elderly person to prison is not going to make the country reconcile the communist past. 

"We cannot let it happen that entire generations of Czechs would not have to bear responsibility for what was happening in the country in the 1950s," Klaus added.

autoři: CzechNews, mch | 23. 9. 2008 16:35

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