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

Novelist Nuruddin Farah: Facing A Blank Page Is 'Bravest Thing' A Writer Does

Farah's latest is called Hiding in Plain Sight. It's the story of Bella, a Somali photographer living in Rome who gets drawn into the lives of her niece and nephew after her half-brother is killed.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ballot Questions Draw Voters In 43 States

Ballot measures cover a lot of ground this year — from minimum wage to school calendars to one involving doughnuts and bear hunting. NPR's Charlie Mahtesian takes NPR's Scott Simon through the list.
NPR

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

Leave a Comment

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