Prague - The Czech Chamber of Deputies today refused to release Social Democrat (CSSD) lawmaker Zuzana Kailova for criminal prosecution over suspected abuse of power and breach of trust, as a result of which she can no longer be prosecuted before the end of her mandate in 2017.
Poslankyně za ČSSD Zuzana Kailová na červnové schůzi Sněmovny 10. června v Praze. ČTK Šulová Kateřina
Of the 173 deputies present, 42 supported the proposal to release Kailova, and 81 voted against it.
The police say Kailova, in her former capacity as a councillor of the northern Bohemian centre Usti nad Labem, assisted in approving a municipal project of the newborn babies welcome ceremony worth 5 million crowns. The deal was ineffective and unnecessary, the police said.
Kailova called the accusation absurd. She said the ceremony is a great social event and the most successful project in Usti nad Labem. It was approved in harmony with law, she pointed out.
She said she is surprised that out of the town´s ten councillors, who approved the project, the police have accused only her and her two colleagues now that the autumn local elections have drawn nearer.
"Lodging criminal complaints has become the cheapest election campaign method," Kailova said.
The complaint against her has been lodged by Usti nad Labem regional assemblyman Jaroslav Achab Haidler, from the PRO!Kraj movement.
Former justice minister and now MP Marie Benesova (CSSD) said the police´s plan to prosecute Kailova is expedient and added that the state attorney "must scrap it" if he is sensible.
Kailova was even defended by opposition lawmakers, who spoke about a tendency to criminalise municipal politicians.
Her release was supported by a majority of deputies for the governing movement ANO.
It was opposed by most deputies for the remaining two governing parties, CSSD and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), and also by the opposition TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats (ODS). Most of the opposition Communists (KSCM) abstained from the vote.
The present Chamber of Deputies, elected last October, has previously released two deputies for criminal prosecution - Bronislav Schwarz (ANO) and former Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS).