Czech president pardons man who tried to sell his hip

Václav Klaus, photo: CTK

In recent days, an unusual story has emerged about a man allegedly trying to sell the Czech president’s removed hipbone on an online auction site. Now, in the latest twist, President Václav Klaus has decided to pardon the man at the centre of the storm.

Václav Klaus,  photo: CTK
Thirty-five thousand crowns - or around 2000 US dollars. That was the apparent asking price on the online website Aukro for the president’s hip, removed in an operation in early June. It seems that a man by the name of Přemysl Donát had decided to put the hip up for sale, despite the fact that the website Aukro – a kind of Czech eBay – explicitly forbids the sale of human body parts. The item for sale was described as “Václav Klaus’s hip point removed by operation at the Bulovka hospital on June 3 2008.” Mr Donát also added that special methods had been used to preserve the hip joint so that it would now last for a long time.

The story was broken by the website, which discovered the item up for sale on Aukro. Mr Donát is also believed to have approached the media for a paid interview at this time. Immediately upon being informed of the sale, the website Aukro wiped the auction from its website. The man, it appears was even offering a 10% discount if the item was sold on to educational organisations. Sadly for him, Mr Donát, a doctor of law, received no offers for the item before the sale was cancelled.

Soon after, the police became involved, with a potential prison sentence of up to three years facing Mr Donát on charges of fraud. However, Mr Klaus has stepped in and pardoned the man. Yet, one mystery still remains: was the hip on sale really the same hip that was removed from the Czech president. The hospital involved has categorically stated that it was not, insisting that it would be impossible for someone to gain access to such an item, because it would be routinely destroyed following the operation. Meanwhile, the president’s decision to pardon Mr Donát, who insists the bone was bought from an unnamed medical practitioner, was taken, according to the castle, in order to put an end to this so-called “undignified game.”