Court chairman describes amnesty as amateurish

Pavel Rychetský, the chairman of the Constitutional Court, has said in an interview for financial daily Hospodářské noviny that preparations preceding a recent amnesty declared by President Václav Klaus, had been “amateurish”. In his view, the prime minister and justice minister should have investigated ahead of time the potential impact of the move. Judge Rychetský was reacting to a claim that the prime minister’s counter-signature on the amnesty declaration was a mere formality; in a meeting with journalists he stressed that the prime minister had been under no obligation to sign the amnesty if he disagreed with it.

The New Year’s Day amnesty, especially article 2 which potentially halts a number of long-running high profile cases against suspects of corruption and economic crime, has seen a largely negative response from the public. Earlier this week, President Klaus defended his decision, suggesting that widespread discontent with the amnesty had been artificially fuelled by the media.

Author: Jan Velinger