published: 12.02.2014, 14:26 | updated: 12.02.2014 14:34:55
Prague - Justice Minister Helena Valkova (ANO) today said she believes former prime minister Petr Necas´s (Civic Democrats, ODS) corruption accusation is good for Czech politics, while the ODS chairman Petr Fiala condemned it as an attack on politics in general.
Necas allegedly helped bribe ODS rebel MPs Petr Tluchor, Marek Snajdr and Ivan Fuksa into resigning as deputies in late 2012 in exchange for lucrative posts in state-owned companies to enable the passage of the crucial legislation they opposed.
Necas dismisses the accusation, officially filed against him on Tuesday. He says it was standard political negotiating.
Valkova said she was rather surprised by the timing of Necas´s accusation.
But she said it would be good if Czech politicians feared to cross the line between political negotiations and corruption.
Valkova said it is subtle but an experienced politician will not cross it.
It would be good if politicians well considered every word and every sentence in fear of promising something that might be a crime, she said.
Valkova noted that she would not intervene in the case in any way and let the police and state attorneys work on it.
The case of alleged bribery brought about the fall of the Necas centre-right coalition government last June and Necas also resigned as the ODS leader.
He claims that his prosecution is an act of revenge for a criminal complaint he had filed against Robert Slachta, chief of the police unit fighting organised crime.
Fiala said the democratic political system and its rules were at stake in the case of Necas´s suspected corruption.
"The appointment (of politicians) to various posts is part of democratic politics, whether we like it or not," Fiala said.
Necas cannot be accused within an experiment that would provide an answer to questions concerning the whole society, Fiala added, referring to the argument used by high state attorney Ivo Istvan who supervises Necas´s case.
"Mr Istvan proved to be fully ignorant about constitutional law, fundamental principles of democracy, the division of power," former justice minister Pavel Blazek (ODS) said.
Blazek called on Valkova to deal with "the democracy destroyer" Istvan as soon as possible.
Last year, the Supreme Court halted the prosecution of Tluchor, Snajdr and Fuksa, citing their immunity. It concluded that lawmakers cannot commit a crime by giving up their mandates.
Valkova said she was taken aback by the verdict.
She said the lawmakers´ immunity should be as narrow as possible.
"We are no superhumans in this respect, excluding the speeches delivered in the Chamber of Deputies," Valkova added.
At present, Jana Nagyova and Roman Bocek are also facing charges in the case along with Necas.
Nagyova headed the prime minister´s office under Necas and she became his wife soon after the scandal broke out. She is also accused of misusing the military intelligence for spying on Radka Necasova, then Necas´s estranged wife.
Bocek was a deputy to Fuksa when he was agriculture minister.
Nagyova and Bocek are suspected of having incited Necas to promise the bribes.
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