published: 13.01.2013, 16:30 | updated: 13.01.2013 16:44:06
Prague - Czech Constitutional Court (US) chairman Pavel Rychetsky is not sure if the US is empowered to check amnesties declared by the president, and it is also unclear whether a group of senators has the right to challenge such an amnesty at the US, he said on Prima Television today.
No precedent in this respect exists in the US´s history, Rychetsky said.
A group of senators led by Alena Dernerova (elected for Severocesi.cz) wants to propose to the US on Monday that it abolish a part of the amnesty President Vaclav Klaus declared on January 1.
The senators want to challenge the amnesty´s article halting the cases of prosecution if they lasted for more than eight years and if the suspects faced ten years in prison at the most.
According to the senators, the amnesty harms the rights of the damaged parties involved and thwarts their chance to enforce their claims.
If the US receives the senators´ complaint, it will first consider its legitimacy, i.e. whether it is possible for a group of senators to propose checking a presidential amnesty, Rychetsky said.
Afterwards, the US will have to decide whether it is within its powers to check or even abolish a presidential amnesty, he added.
Eliska Wagnerova, former US judge who is now a senator for the Greens, said the European Court of Human Rights admits a certain, very limited range of reasons for which amnesty can be abolished - in the case of frauds or some circumstances the president was unaware of.
Klaus said in the media he did not know what concrete criminal cases his amnesty would apply to.
"We want to clarify these circumstances in the Senate, so that our possible proposal to the US is not a failure," Wagnerova said in a debate on Czech Television (CT).
That is why the senators have asked Klaus to come to answer their questions about his amnesty declaration, she added.
Klaus´s aide Ladislav Jakl asserted on CT that Klaus knew the extent of the amnesty he was going to declare. Klaus had enquired in advance on how many inmates will be released from prisons as a result. However, he naturally could not know whom concretely the amnesty will benefit, Jakl said.
Wagnerova said Klaus should have acquainted himself at least with the extent and the types of the proceedings he was going to halt.
By no means will the US decide on whether it approves the amnesty or not. This is the exclusive right of the president and of Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS), Rychetsky pointed out.
However, the amnesty had been prepared in an amateurish way, he reiterated.
Over 6000 inmates, who served shorter sentences, were released from Czech prisons within the amnesty. Klaus also deleted some suspended and all alternative sentences.
The strongest wave of criticism broke out in reaction to the amnesty´s article halting selected cases of prosecution, which applies to some cases involving large-scale frauds, corruption and illegal siphoning off money from funds and companies.
21.05.2013 | 16:28
21.05.2013 | 14:43
21.05.2013 | 12:04
President Zeman declares war to Czech democracy - German press
21.05.2013 | 11:16
Czech press survey - May 21
21.05.2013 | 07:23
Govt counts on internal debate preceding Czech adoption of euro
20.05.2013 | 16:45
Kvůli kauze Putna protestují studenti, adepti podepisují výzvu na odmítnutí profesury