Politics & Policy|Society
Tom Jones|16.03.2012

Czech whistleblower ‘hounded’ over presidential pardon corruption claims

A Czech doctor who last October went public with claims that a former police officer convicted of bribery had boasted to him that her presidential pardon was in the works — thanks to a pay-off to President Václav Klaus and others at Prague Castle — says he was subsequently hounded by authorities and pressured to resign his post. Dr Martin Konečný has now spoken out again about the ramifications of his having reported the alleged “cash for clemency” scandal.

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Society
Tom Jones|07.03.2012

Czech President rejects clemency plea for jailed Ztohoven artist

The Czech president has rejected an appeal to grant clemency to prankster artist known as Roman Týc, now serving the second week of a 30-day prison sentence for changing glass on pedestrian crossings on traffic lights across Prague. The appeal to free the Ztohoven artist came from the arts and culture portal protisedi.cz (meaning “against the gray”).

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Politics & Policy|Society
Tom Jones|28.02.2012

‘I’m being followed’ says anti-corruption campaigner Randák

Karel Randák, former head of the Czech foreign intelligence service, the Office for Foreign Relations and Information (ÚZSI), and now member of the board of the National Anti-Corruption Endowment (NFPK), says he is ready to accept that any politician may be involved in corrupt practices, including Czech President Václav Klaus.

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Politics & Policy|Society
Tom Jones|24.02.2012

Soc Dems aim to clip Czech president’s clemency powers

In response to the controversial pardons granted by President Václav Klaus on Valentine’s Day, the largest opposition force, the Social Democrats (ČSSD), announced Friday that it will put forward a bill whereby presidential pardons will have to be countersigned by the prime minister or a minister. The ČSSD’s deputy leader Lubomír Zaorálek says the president’s current powers are a “relic” from the communist era.

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Politics & Policy|Society
Brian Kenety|21.02.2012

Soc Dems call on Czech president to resign over pardons

The Social Democrats (ČSSD) are calling on President Václav Klaus to resign over his recent decisions to pardon convicted fraudsters and consider granting clemency to another with links to organized crime figures, Aktuálně.cz reports, citing sources from the center-left party’s deputies group. Party deputy chairman Lubomír Zaorálek said Klaus should release more detailed information on how his decisions, saying, “If not, further steps will be necessary.”

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Politics & Policy|Society
David Kasl|21.02.2012

Police investigating Klaus’ presidential pardon for ‘underworld’ entrepreneur

Two weeks before President Václav Klaus on Valentine’s Day published the names of 14 people he had decided to grant clemency, Czech Position and several other media received an anonymous message in which the author said he was filing a criminal complaint about an alleged payment of a bribe “in relation to a certain Mr. Malina.” Given the controversy surrounding Klaus’ latest pardons, we decided to verify the authenticity of the anonymous message.

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Politics & Policy|Society
Brian Kenety|20.02.2012

Wiretaps show pardoned embezzler often spoke with President’s wife

Police wiretaps show that a former Metropolitan University Prague (MUP) director convicted last year of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of trust — pardoned by President Václav Klaus last week for “humanitarian” reasons and because she had “been punished enough” — spoke by phone with his wife so often it aroused investigators’ suspicions, the daily Lidové noviny reports.

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Society
Brian Kenety|17.02.2012

Klaus denies his wife a factor in presidential pardon

President Václav Klaus has denied a report he may have granted a pardon to the former director of a private university earlier this week because she was an “acquaintance” of his wife. He said he was unaware until today that she had taken part in an event presided over by former Metropolitan University Prague (MUP) director Anna Benešová, convicted last year of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of trust.

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Society
Tom Jones|16.02.2012

State prosecutor condemns presidential pardon

Marek Bodlák, a state prosecutor in Prague, says two years of police work, followed by two years work by the prosecution service have been wasted as a result of President Václav Klaus’ decision earlier this week to pardon former director of the Metropolitan University in Prague Anna Benešová. Bodlák labels Klaus’ decision over the woman found guilty of embezzlement as incomprehensible.

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Politics & Policy|Society
Brian Kenety|14.02.2012

Klaus pardons ex-head of Prague university

President Václav Klaus has exercised his right as Czech head of state and granted pardons to 14 people, including Anna Benešová, the former director of Metropolitan University Prague (MUP), who had been convicted of bribery and embezzlement.

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