Ex-PM Nečas’s wife goes on trial over abuse of power

Jana Nečasová, photo: CTK

The wife of ex-prime minister Petr Nečas has gone on trial in Prague in a case that last year led to the collapse of his government. Mrs Nečasová, formerly his chief of staff Jana Nagyová, is charged with abuse of power along with three former military intelligence officers whom she allegedly ordered to spy on the then prime minister’s wife.

Jana Nečasová, photo: CTK
Prime minister Petr Nečas stepped down, along the rest of his government, on June 16, 2013, three days after the organized crime unit of the Czech police raided the government offices and arrested his chief of staff, Jana Nagyová.

Ms Nagyová was charged with bribery and abuse of power. The prosecution allege that in 2012, she “privatized” the country’s military intelligence service when she ordered staff to spy on Mr Nečas’s wife, Radka.

Ms Nagyová, who has since married the former cabinet leader and adopted his name, was allegedly seeking personal information about her boss’ wife to pressure him into divorce.

Last June, a court in Prague gave Ms Nečasová a one-year suspended sentence in a fast-track procedure. But the prosecution appealed the verdict, and the court has now begun hearing the case in a regular procedure.

However, on Thursday the judge adjourned the hearing until January in order to get approval from the Defence Ministry for the former intelligence officers to testify on classified matters.

Jana Nečasová, Petr Nečas, photo: CTK
Mrs Nečasová faces charges in another two cases that also contributed to the fall of government last June. She allegedly helped two infamous political fixers with influencing public procurement procedures

She is also charged with having played a part in a bribery scandal in which three then MPs from Mr Nečas’s former party, the Civic Democrats, received posts in state-owned firms in return for resigning as deputies.

Police and prosecution have both come under criticism from several public figures including former president Václav Klaus over the cases. They say the investigators exceeded their authority in effectively bringing down Mr Nečas’ government.