published: 03.11.2013, 18:35 | updated: 03.11.2013 18:36:26
Prague - Three former Czech Civic Democrat (ODS) deputies Petr Tluchor, Ivan Fuksa and Marek Snajdr, whose corruption accusation has been halted based on the Supreme Court (NS) decision, will not be accused again, High State Attorney Ivo Istvan admitted in an interview with CTK.
After the NS recently decided that the three cannot be prosecuted for steps they took before resigning as MPs last November, Istvan cannot see any further space for their deeds to be described otherwise to enable their new prosecution, he said.
The NS verdict has explicitly ruled out a reformulation of the charges, Istvan said.
The High State Attorney´s Office (VSZ) in Olomouc, north Moravia, led by Istvan, said the three deputies last autumn accepted a bribe in the form of lucrative posts in state companies in exchange for resigning as deputies and thereby unblocking the passage of crucial legislation promoted by the then ODS-led government.
The lucrative "cosy" posts were allegedly offered to them by the then prime minister and ODS chairman Petr Necas.
The NS recently upheld its own verdict from July saying that the steps the three took before their November 7, 2012 departure from parliament are covered by their indemnity, or immunity of lawmakers.
It is also impossible to accuse them of withdrawal from parliament as this is a step deputies cannot be prosecuted for, the NS said.
"The NS´s interpretation of indemnity actually rules out the prosecution of the three over any of their steps linked to their subsequent resignation as deputies, even if this link is very weak," Istvan told CTK.
In a television debate today, Istvan said the NS verdict is at variance with an international convention that binds the Czech Republic to prosecute political corruption.
"I´m pointing to a discrepancy between the NS´s decision on how indemnity should be interpreted and the international convention the Czech Republic has ratified. Unfortunately, the NS has not commented on this at all," Istvan said on Czech Television.
In reaction to him, NS judge Stanislav Rizman said he views the convention only as Prague´s commitment to pass the relevant legislative measures.
Rizman wondered why the VSZ had not halted the prosecution of the three former deputies after the NS´s July verdict already.
Istvan said the then verdict indicated that it depends on where the suspected corruption deal was struck.
The July verdict explicitly said that "the indemnity does not cover a behaviour that occurred at a toilet or in a buffet. Now I´m surprised by the [NS´s] change of mind," said Istvan and added that the NS´s new verdict does not deal with the place of suspected unlawful deeds at all.
Istvan would not comment on whether criminal charges might be filed against Necas, whose government fell this June and who, the NS said, can be prosecuted for the steps he made while PM and a deputy simultaneously.
It it up to the state attorney in charge of the case to decide, Istvan said.
"For now it is important the NS decision that Necas is not exempted from the power of law enforcement bodies," Istvan added.
The scandal around the suspected corruption of Tluchor, Fuksa and Snajdr caused the fall of Necas´s cabinet and his departure from the post of ODS chairman in June.
At present, only Necas´s former office head Jana Nagyova (whom he married in the meantime) and Roman Bocek, a deputy of Fuksa as former agriculture minister, are prosecuted over the case. Nagyova and Bocek are suspected of having incited Necas to promise the bribes.
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