Czech Parliament Impeaches Outgoing President Over Amnesty | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Czech Parliament Impeaches Outgoing President Over Amnesty

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is due to leave office this week. But, today, the country's upper house of Parliament handed him quite a going-away gift: They impeached him for treason and referred his case to the Constitutional Court.

Reuters reports that his left-wing opponents are angry because he granted amnesty to thousands of prisoners. The court will decide whether those pardons violated the constitution

Reuters adds:

"The upper house voted 38 to 30 in a closed session to bring charges against the president.

"The biggest punishment he faces, if found guilty, is losing office, his presidential pension and the right to stand again in future. That is mild given Klaus's second and final consecutive term runs out on Thursday."

The BBC reports that the outrage is less about the release of prisoners and more about Klaus' order to halt some ongoing prosecutions. The BBC explains:

"In one fell swoop, a dozen high-profile corruption cases - cases that involve millions of dollars in asset-stripping, bribes and fraud - were thrown out.

"The halted prosecutions included that of prominent businessman Tomas Pitr for alleged tax fraud and that of former football association chief Frantisek Chvalovsky for embezzlement."

The Associated Press reports that Klaus issued the pardons to "mark the country's 20th anniversary of independence."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Guardians' Director: This Movie Needed Me!

Morning Edition's David Greene talks to director James Gunn about his new film, Guardians of the Galaxy, which Marvel hopes to make its next big franchise. Characters include a raccoon and a tree.
NPR

Syracuse Researchers Melt Rock, Grill A Steak Over Magma

Researchers at the university built a furnace that can melt rock, then had a cookout. Chefs placed a ribeye on a grill over the 2,100-degree magma. Seconds later, a very charred, medium rare steak.
NPR

Assessing Obama's Foreign Policy After A Week Of Crises

Politico Magazine editor Susan Glasser and Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum talk with Linda Wertheimer about how the president's foreign policy moves are playing out at home and abroad.
NPR

Big Data Firm Says It Can Link Snowden Data to Changed Terrorist Behavior

For months, U.S. officials have said secret data from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was affecting the way terrorists communicate. A Massachusetts company says it has found proof.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.