Lawyer fined for taking out smear ad against presidential candidate

Lawyer Vladimír Zavadil has been fined 850,000 crowns for taking out a smear ad against presidential candidate Karel Schwarzenberg on the day of the presidential run-off vote. The ad, which appeared in the tabloid Blesk warned people not to vote for Karel Schwarzenberg since he had made controversial statements regarding the Benes decrees and could present a threat to the country’s national interests. Mr. Schwarzenberg was defeated in the presidential race by his rival Miloš Zeman. Police shelved a complaint by Schwarzenberg, but the lawyer was fined in a disciplinary hearing by the Czech Bar Association which said he had violated professional ethics.