Czech PM’s aide charged with abuse of power

Written by on June 14, 2013 in Europe - No comments

Czech prosecutors have filed charges against seven people arrested in police raids earlier this week, including Jana Nagyova, Czech prime minister Petr Necas’s chief of staff, Czech news agency CTK reported on June 14.

Nagyova has been charged with abuse of power, the report said, quoting high state attorney Ivo Istvan.

Ondrej Palenik, the former head of the military counter-intelligence service, and his successor at the service, Milan Kovanda, faced similar charges. The duo, as well as other counter-intelligence officials, are alleged to have had Necas’s wife shadowed on Nagyova’s orders, Palenik’s lawyer was quoted as saying.

Necas is separated from his wife and recently said that he planned to divorce her, while local tabloids have speculated about Necas’s relationship with Nagyova, CTK said.

The police were still investigating whether Necas knew about Nagyova’s alleged actions, the agency reported.

Separately, two former MPs for Necas’s Civic Democrats party were charged with bribery and money laundering, Radio Prague reported. Nagyova was also linked to the corruption charges against the two former MPs, the report said.

In an address to parliament on June 14, Necas said that the police raids and the arrests of high-profile officials were a blow to the country’s image, but said that he had did not plan to step down as prime minister.

The largest opposition party, the Social Democrats, said that they would table a motion of no confidence if Necas refused to resign, with the two other opposition parties saying that they would back such a motion.

Necas’s coalition partners, TOP 09, have thus far remained reserved in their response, saying that they would await more information from prosecutors and the police.

Speaking late on June 13, TOP 09 leader Karel Schwarzenberg said that the country was at a cross-roads, Radio Prague reported. If the police operation is seen to be fully justified it would re-enforce democracy in the country, but should the police and state attorney’s office fail to provide convincing evidence it would severely undermine trust in the country’s institutions, he said.

(Photo of Czech prime minister Petr Nečas by European Council via flickr.com)

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