Czech Republic

Czech President Charged With High Treason in Last Week of Presidency


Credit: World Economic Forum/flickr

Earlier this year Czech President Vaclav Klaus pardoned almost one third of prisoners. Today, Czech lawmakers in the upper house of parliament voted narrowly to impeach Klaus for high treason, referring the outgoing president to the constitutional court, which will rule if the amnesty and other decisions Klaus made as president were unconstitutional.

From the BBC

The wide-ranging measures were controversial as they resulted in multiple high-profile corruption cases being suspended.

Mr Klaus's term as president of the country is due to end on Thursday.

Thirty-eight senators in the 81-seat house, controlled by the left-wing opposition, voted to impeach the president, with 30 voting against. Only the Senate has such power in the Czech legal system.

The worst punishment he faces is the loss of his presidential job, a role the 71-year-old must relinquish later this week having served two terms in office.

The opposition is upset that Klaus ended the prosecutions of some people being investigated for embezzlement. In addition, the opposition alleges that it was unconstitutional for Klaus not to ratify some European Union legislation, including the plan to set up the European Stability Mechanism eurozone bailout fund.

The move is symbolic; the worst punishment that Klaus could be facing is being removed from office (his second term as president ends on Thursday), having his pension withheld, and not being able to stand for office again.

While Klaus is often regarded as one of Europe's best know Eurosceptics and Thatcherite advocate of free trade his record on economic reform has been patchy at best. Read Matt Welch on Vaclav Klaus here, here, and here.  

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  1. Will we be waiting until Obama’s last week to charge him with treason, or will it happen sooner?

    1. Wouldn’t trying to maximize the negative impact of sequester count as treason?

      1. You know, I don’t think any official should be able to stay in office when they pull that National Lampoon stunt.

        1. That is really all it is. And they are so blatant about it. And the media is cheering them on.

    2. RACIST! Nobody charged Booosh! with treason and everyone knows he was the most treasoning American to ever walk the face of America!

      1. Fine, charge them both with conspiracy to commit treason as well as treason.

        1. Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un presidente pour encourager les autres

          1. Eh. Actually sub politician for presidente. I don’t really think it matters, as long as they know we expect them to do better than they are as an entire class.

  2. So basically Klaus isn’t cosmotarian enough? Is that the whole problem?

  3. You mean new Cato scholar charged with treason by CZ.

    1. And you’re welcome.…..nt_3583513

  4. Wow thats messed up man, off with his head!

  5. Czech President to Join Cato Institute…..-institute

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  7. From the article, it sounds like he just got rid of everyone who would be in jail for less than a year, and I guess pardoned everyone who committed crimes that weren’t bad enough to receive jail sentences.

    And if you are under prosecution for 8 years, I think it’s reached a point of silliness.

    “It was not, however, the decision to free some 7,000 prisoners serving sentences of up to a year or cancel all suspended sentences, but rather the halting of the prosecution of cases that had dragged on for more than eight years that caused widespread public anger.”

    1. The inside scoop is that a lot of his friends in the banking sector were recently prosecuted.

      Klaus is extremely sleazy and is TINO, thatcherite in name only.

  8. So, the leftover commie rat bastards are taking a shot at the man who led their country out of cold-war shithole status. Fuck them all.


    1. No, Klaus is no hero, and fuck Cato for thinking he is.

    2. Just because the socialists hate Klaus doesn’t make him some sort of free market guru, just like the fact that liberals hating Bush doesn’t make him a small government conservative.

      Klaus calling himself a Thatcherite or clasical liberal doesn’t make him one any more than Glenn Beck or Bill Maher calling themselves libertarians.

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