Czech state attorney drops request for former PM Necas’ prosecution

By bne IntelliNews July 17, 2013

Czech high state attorney Ivo Istvan will withdraw his request to the parliament to lift the immunity of former Prime Minister Petr Necas, CTK newswire reported, quoting Istvan as speaking on Czech Television.

Istvan wanted to start a criminal prosecution against Necas for alleged political corruption, but dropped the demand after the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday (July 16) that three former deputies, who have been charged with corruption in the same case, were covered by parliamentary immunity and cannot be prosecuted for a political deal.

Istvan said that neither Necas nor anybody else can be prosecuted in the case until the scope of deputies' immunity is clearly defined.

Necas resigned last month after his closest aide Jana Nagyova, with whom he has a relationship, was charged with bribing former lawmakers and ordering intelligence officers to spy on people. Along with Nagyova, seven more people were charged including ex-deputies and the current and former heads of military intelligence in an unprecedented anti-graft operation.

The three former lawmakers, accused of accepting posts at state companies in return for dropping a rebellion against the PM last year, were released from custody on Tuesday, as the Supreme Court said that that immunity applies to voting, decisions and other political expressions made by deputies in parliament during the term of their mandate and thus they cannot be prosecuted.

Prosecutors had considered that the graft case was not related to auctions in parliament, in which case immunity may be lifted by parliament and expires with the end of a deputy's mandate, but the Supreme Court did not agree.

Reuters commented that while it is not clear if prosecutors would drop the case altogether or would continue prosecuting the deputies and others on a narrower basis, a collapse of the case would weaken the prosecutors who have in the past two years shown a growing appetite to go after graft, which is believed to be widespread in political circles.

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