published: 07.01.2014, 16:22 | updated: 07.01.2014 16:40:38
Prague - Czech Interior Minister Martin Pecina today said he has scrapped the decision on the appointment of Martin Cervicek as police president, thus solving the police´s month-long dual presidency, and added that Petr Lessy will be the police´s only head as from Wednesday.
The police had two heads from early December when Pecina reinstated Lessy after the court acquitted him of criminal charges. Cervicek, however, had replaced Lessy at the police helm in the meantime.
As both refused to resign, Pecina launched administrative proceedings examining legitimacy of Cervicek´s appointment.
Pecina said at a press conference today that Lessy will be the police´s only president as from Wednesday and Cervicek will resume his previous post of police deputy president in charge of criminal police and investigation.
Pecina is a member of the outgoing caretaker cabinet.
Lessy told journalists that he will offer his resignation to Pecina´s successor in the new cabinet now in the making.
"We´ve found out that the appointment [of Cervicek] and the dismissal [of Lessy] were overhasty at the time and...that a blatant mistake was made in appointing [Cervicek]," Pecina said.
He alluded to previous interior minister Jan Kubice who replaced Lessy with Cervicek in August 2012 after Lessy came under suspicion of slander and power abuse in connection with a suspected leak of negative information about a regional police chief.
Last year a court acquitted Lessy and in December a higher-level court halted the proceedings against him.
Lessy today emphasised that he does not cling to the post of police president.
"When the new cabinet is appointed, including the new interior minister, I´m ready to hand in my resignation and leave the post of police president, if the minister wished it," Lessy said, adding that he wants to "unblock the situation" thereby.
He said he would not make any significant personnel changes by then.
The nascent government´s candidate for interior minister, Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD), has told Aktualne.cz that he reckons with neither Lessy nor Cervicek at the police´s helm.
By his decision today Pecina identified himself with the view of his commission of advisers who recommended him the dismissal of Cervicek on Monday.
The commission said that after the start of Lessy´s prosecution, Cervicek should not have been dismissed from the post of deputy police head by the then minister Kubice but by another deputy police head, Pavel Osvald.
The decisions Cervicek made as police president remain in force, nevertheless, Pecina said.
Cervicek´s defence lawyer previously said he would file a legal action if Cervicek were unseated as police president.
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