published: 12.01.2013, 12:03 | updated: 12.01.2013 12:08:29
Prague - The returning of a judge-criminal to the post of judge is a nearly anti-state move that cannot but arouse people´s frustration, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny today, alluding to the presidential amnesty also applying to Jiri Berka, former judge suspected of participation in criminal conspiracy.
Based on the amnesty declared by President Vaclav Klaus, the court halted the prosecution of Berka, who might be returned the salary he lost during more than eight years of prosecution, and even reinstalled as a judge, though he is suspected of assisting in bankruptcy-related frauds worth quarter a billion crowns, Zverina recalls.
Berka´s return as a judge would be a political catastrophe of colossal dimensions, Zverina writes.
In the next elections, it would backfire on the Petr Necas government, which is paradoxical as it is under the Necas government that the law enforcement bodies have intensified their [anti-corruption] efforts, Zverina writes.
People´s confidence in the political elite would further decline and populists´ rhetoric would find even more listeners among Czechs, Zverina writes.
The case of Jiri Berka, a judge suspected of manipulating bankruptcies, has become a synonym for this type of modern crime that has destroyed a number of healthy companies and honest entrepreneurs and in which billions of crowns have been stolen, Josef Koukal writes in daily Pravo.
This type of fraud became so serious and extensive that it turned into a political topic and many politicians called for laws to be changed and bankruptcy-related crime fought against, Koukal writes.
The case of Berka and another eleven people accused along with him of criminal conspiracy became a flagship of the state´s fight against bankruptcy frauds. The word "the Berka gang" has become a widely used formulation, Koukal writes.
However, Berka is innocent, or he has never been found guilty by a valid court verdict. The prosecution of Berka and some of his accomplices has been halted by the presidential amnesty and Berka may not only receive financial compensation but he may even be returned to the post of judge, Koukal says.
From now on, everybody should be cautious in speaking of "the Berka gang," as such expression could be prosecuted as calumny, Koukal concludes.
Elsewhere in Lidove noviny, Martin Weiss calls extraordinary the opinion of the British Financial Times that Europe will "greet with relief" at the departure of the incumbent Czech President Vaclav Klaus, whose mandate expires on March 7.
What miracle will happen after Klaus ends as president? Will the Spanish or Greek unemployment rate fall? Will the French state bonds regain the AAA rating? Will Cyprus cease to need giant economic aid? Weiss asks ironically.
No, all these are evidently not the genuine problems of Europe. The real problem is that Klaus, irrespective of his vanity, opportunism and other shortcomings, was right in assessing the monetary union [negatively], while lots of people in the EC, think-tanks and also the Financial Times were evidently and repeatedly wrong, Weiss says.
No wonder that they will sigh with relief at Klaus´s departure, otherwise it may occur someone that they are responsible for the present situation, Weiss concludes.
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