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Not guilty: acquittals in Nagyová case

in Prague News

Czech right outraged at prosecutors who charged former head of Nečas’s office

Prague, May 29 (ČTK) — The High State Attorney’s office in Olomouc, north Moravia, is incompetent, former Czech justice minister Pavel Blažek (the Civic Democratic Party, ODS), said today after the acquittal of former head of PM Petr Nečas’s office.

A court today acquitted Jana Nagyová, former head of the office of then-Czech prime minister Petr Nečas (ODS) of abuse of military intelligence (VZ) charges. Nečas later married Nagyová

The court also acquitted two former VZ heads, Ondrej Páleník and Milan Kovanda, and VZ agent Jan Pohůnek.

The verdict has not yet taken effect. According to Olomouc prosecutor Rostislav Bajger, Nagyová tasked military intelligence to shadow Nečas’s wife for personal reasons in 2012, abusing her power. He wanted Nagyová to be sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and Páleník, Kovanda and Pohůnek to be given similar prison sentences.

All the defendants denied any wrongdoing.

The VZ was suspected of having shadowed Nečas’s former wife Radka Nečasová to the order of Nagyová, with the aim of gaining materials to discredit her as Nagyová’s rival.

The defense lawyers said the operation focusing on Radka Nečasová in November 2012 was no spying but an operation aimed to protect Nečas’s family from a potential danger.

The case was triggered by a spectacular police action in which Nagyová and some senior VZ members were arrested in June 2013 while Nečas was still in office.

The spying scandal forced Nečas, prime minister of a center-right coalition government, to step down in 2013. He then married Nagyová and withdrew from politics.

“The acts presented in the indictment are no criminal acts,” Prague 1 district court judge Helena Králová said today.

Blažek said he appreciated Králová’s courage.

ODS leader Petr Fiala said he expected the prosecutors to take personal responsibility from the verdict.

Former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) reacted similarly.

“I appreciate Králová’s courage to decide according to the law, irrespective of the expected media and political hysteria,” Blažek wrote to the Czech News Agency.

“The incompetence of the High State Attorney’s office in Olomouc has been laid bare repeatedly,” Blažek added.

“However, its members do not have to be afraid as they have done more for the current establishment than it could have wished,” he added.

“Today’s decision on the acquittal of Jana Nečasová and other persons has proven that moral failure cannot be and must not be any crime,” said Fiala, who was the education minister in the government of Nečas.

“We are still waiting for the explanation of why the police raid at the Government Office took place two years ago, due to which the government fell,” Fiala said.

“The court decisions have shown that the intervention was inappropriate and without any reason. In a democratic country, such practices are unacceptable,” he added.

Kalousek said he respected the court decision.

“However, there is the logical question of who shoulders responsibility for the monstrous operation that cost tens of million crowns and brought about the fall of a government,” he added.

“Two years later, we are facing the fact that no crime happened,” Kalousek said.

Kalousek refused to elaborate on whether the prosecutors from the High State Attorney’s office in Olomouc should be taken to responsibility.

Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO) stressed the court decision was not yet valid and that the verdict of the court of appeals was to be still meted out.

Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman refused to comment on the acquittal.

When asked about the right wing’s call for the responsibility of the state attorneys supervising the case, Zeman said it is necessary to wait for the verdict of the appeals court that would take effect.

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