13. října 2016 | News

Amnestie Václava Klause – část druhá

The Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK) has released the second part of an essay containing basic data and quotations from the rulings issued by selected courts and public prosecutors, concerning the implementation of Article II of the amnesty, decreed by Václav Klaus in 2013. This part brings you the rulings of the Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office and Court in Ostrava.  

Ostrava is an idiosyncratic region and quotes from the resolutions, issued by the above-mentioned institutions, fully corroborate its unique characteristics. The criminality of the prosecuted (and amnestied) subjects runs the gamut, from intentional swindle (including loan scams), theft, violation of duties of trust and fraud, right through to money forging and counterfeit, an attempted extortion involving threats of violence and murder. The financial damages incurred are not negligible, either, amounting to more than 5.5 billion crowns, plus an unrealized, averted loss in excess of 300 million CZK. There is something there for everybody, including the most discriminating reader.

The same holds true of those interested in the legal aspects of the issue. Thus, it follows from the text of one ruling that the accused offender could have avoided the court (and prosecution) by staging a vanishing act. He was unaccounted for. Criminal proceedings were then suspended on account the absence of the accused, but no proceedings were started against him as a fugitive. One and the same fact, two different cases, legally speaking. Article II of the amnesty decree excludes from the halting of criminal proceedings the cases in which proceedings are conducted against a fugitive. Due to his/her absence the person concerned could have avoided criminal proceedings against him/her for maybe 15 years, but if they were not considered fugitive, they were covered by the Klaus-Nečas amnesty. They won.                

However, criminal proceedings were interrupted (and amnesty applied) in some cases due to the manifestation of a serious mental disorder or other health issue, suffered by the accused or defendants. In one case, a defendant was sentenced to 10 years in prison; the proceedings against him were conducted as against a fugitive, the appeals court cut it to eight years, but the defendant appealed to the Supreme Court, which set aside both judgements. Proceedings continued until stopped by the amnesty.        

Incidentally, it follows from the rulings, obtained from the regional and high courts and public prosecutors all over the country that the persons who had the proceedings against them halted are thought to have caused damages totalling at least 18.6 billion crowns, while additional damages, amounting to at least 3.4 billion CZK, were averted. Over 90,000 natural persons and hundreds of companies are thought to have suffered harm.

It should be noted that the Anticorruption Endowment Board of Trustees decided to disclose the full names of the prosecuted and amnestied subjects, where it was possible to retrieve the data.

Enclosures (in Czech): Rulings on halting criminal proceedings on the basis of Article II of President Václav Klaus’s decree on amnesty from 1 January 2013:

Contact please: Martin Soukenka, NFPK Analyst, e-mail: martin.soukenka@nfpk.cz