UPDATE2: Court rejects treason complaint against Klaus

Radek Nohl
28. 3. 2013 11:35
Czech Constitutional Court rejected high treason charge brought by group of senators against ex-President Klaus
Vaclav Klaus
Vaclav Klaus | Foto: Ludvík Hradilek

UPDATE 2 Ex-President Vaclav Klaus will not face a high treason charge. The Czech Constitutional Court rejected an appeal filed by a group of senators, in which they asked for a high treason charge to be brought against then-President Klaus. The court rejected the appeal, arguing that Klaus's term expired shortly after it was lodged.

Prime Minister Petr Necas said that the 38 senators who signed the proposal have damaged the Czech Republic's reputation abroad, and should consider leaving politics.

UPDATE (March 4) The Czech Senate narrowly voted to file a high treason complaint with the Constitutional Court against outgoing President Vaclav Klaus for his controversial New Year amnesty.

Some 38 senators voted for the proposal, 30 voted against. The upper chamber of the Czech parliament, currently controlled by the left-wing opposition, has 81 seats.

Klaus's term expires on Thursday 7 March.

The original story is here:

Prague - A group of Senators and lawyers has prepared a constitutional complaint against outgoing President Vaclav Klaus, accusing him of high treason for his controversial New Year amnesty.

The group has managed to collect the necessary signatures of at least 27 Senators for the document. Aktualne.cz has learned this form Senator Miroslav Antl, who heads the Senate's constitutional committee.

Klaus's amnesty means massive frauds won't get punished

The document will be first debated in the Senate. If a simple majority of present Senators vote in favor of the proposal, the complaint will be sent to the Constitutional Court.

The Senators believe that the outgoing president's New Year amnesty violated the Czech constitution. The initiative was started by Czech billionaire Karel Janecek and was eventually joined by 17 organizations.

The document asks the Constitutional Court to remove Klaus from office. However, Klaus's term expires in less than two weeks, on March 8. If the court approves the complaint, the outgoing president will not be allowed to run again for the post, and would also lose his presidential pension worth CZK 50,000 (approximately 2,000 euro) a month.

Klaus has refused to comment on the constitutional complaint.

Janecek has also collected signatures of 73,000 citizens for a petition that calls the Senate to file a charge against the outgoing president. The petition was handed to Senate chairman Milan Stech.

According to Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman, the outgoing president's New Year amnesty halted the prosecution of at least 327 criminal cases, including some major economic crimes.

Prosecutors believe that the amnesty violated the Czech constitution as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because victims of many financial crimes practically lost their entitlement to compensation.

Some Senators want to amend the constitution in order to prevent future presidents from halting criminal prosecutions.

Justice Minister Pavel Blazek said last week during a Senate hearing that the amnesty did not destroy anybody's life, and that there was no need to change the constitution.

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