Articles

Executive Clemency: Rich Businessman? Yes. Poor Janitor? No

In Law, Politics on July 11, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

The principle of executive clemency has  been criticized in this country ever since the now former president Vaclav Havel started to apply this executive power of his.

President Vaclav Klaus, after he was elected, said he would not overuse it. Well, he doesn’t but the cases are just as questionable as Havel’s.

Mr. Zdenek Kratochvil is a businessman from the town of Jihlava. A woman named Monika from the same town is a janitor.

He was charged with fraud worth billions (!!!!). She misappropriated CZK 5,865 ($420). They both have health problems.

Kratochvil applied for executive clemency from the president in January, while the woman did the same two years ago.

The businessman GOT IT within weeks and avoided going to jail. The woman appealed her case repeatedly, she even paid the “debt” after she had been sentenced, but nothing helped and she had to go to jail for a month. She was released a few weeks ago. But a local district court judge sent all necessary documentation for the executive clemency in February 2006. Which means the people working for the president who are in charge of the agenda had had two years to process this case. Somehow, it seems like they did not.

It is a widely spread opinion in this country that the Civic Democrats of whom Klaus was the Chairman and “true leader” and who are in the government now are a party that supports “big criminals”, i.e. businessmen who make money in a very questionable way, or sometimes even ilegally, and nothing happens to them. I am afraid that this case will even refresh this image.

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