The Chamber of Deputies judiciary subcommittee says the independence of the
Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court was not
endangered by communications with the president, Miloš Zeman, and his
chancellor, Vratislav Mynář. Chairman Pavel Blažek said this position
had been reached unanimously by the subcommittee. It also recommended that
judges report any attempts to sway their rulings to the chairs of their
Mr. Zeman and his right hand man have been accused in recent weeks of seeking to influence court decisions. Mr. Mynář, who appeared before the judiciary subcommittee last week, denies any wrongdoing.
President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynař, has withdrawn an
appeal filed with the Administrative Court against the decision of the
National Security Office not to give him top-level security clearance. The
chancellor said he did not trust the judge to rule impartially on the
According to the president’s spokesman Chancellor Mynař will remain in office despite failing to get security clearance.
The matter has been debated since 2013 with politicians and the media pointing out that the chancellor regularly attends events where security clearance is expected.
In 2015 President Zeman said that if Mr. Mynař failed to get it, he would dismiss him from the post.
Opposition deputies have criticized the chancellor’s decision and the stated reasons for it, calling the move arrogant, cowardly and dangerous.
If President Miloš Zeman suggested he would name a judge chief justice of the Constitutional Court in exchange for making certain judicial decisions, he “may have committed a crime” or been planning one. So says Minister of Justice Jan Kněžínek. While the jury is still out, so to speak, a complaint has already been filed against the president’s chancellor.
Former Supreme Administrative Court chairman Josef Baxa told a hearing of
the lower house of Parliament justice subcommittee on Wednesday that
President Miloš Zeman had urged him in private meetings last spring to
arrange for certain decisions at his court.
Mr Baxa told MPs he considered the request inappropriate and that it felt as if the president were offering to appoint him as Constitutional Court chief justice in exchange for achieving certain judicial rulings. Minister of Justice Jan Kněžínek (ANO) said on Thursday that if true, that would amount to a criminal act or attempted criminal act.
The hearing on Wednesday was called over suspicions that the president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, had repeatedly tried to influence the courts in cases relating to the Office of the President or ones in which President Zeman had a vested interest.
Mr Mynář said he and the president had merely acquainted Mr Baxa with their opinions on various matters. He admitted that he had “consulted” with Constitutional Court judges, including Vojtěch Šimíček, presenting the President’s objections regarding planned changes to the Labour Act.
Subcommittee chairman MP Pavel Blažek (Civic Democrats) said that the matter was serious enough to warrant a subcommittee resolution but not to launch a separate investigation.
President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has been trying to influence decisions at key courts in the country, Respekt reported on Monday. Among the courts that Mr. Mynář attempted to influence were the Constitutional and Supreme Administrative courts, the news weekly said. These activities have been going on for several years and range from the president’s right hand man gathering information about important cases to telling courts how to decide, Respekt alleged. Prague Castle spokesman Jiří Ovčáček reacted to the report by saying that Mr. Mynář had been speaking to the judges in order to inform them about the viewpoints of the president.
The Czech Football Association, which is embroiled in a subsidy scandal, is
believed to have allotted over 100 million crowns without clear rules.
Czech Radio’s flagship news station Radiožurnal says it has now obtained documents showing where the money went and one of the biggest benefactors was the village football club Osvětimany which is the home club of President Zeman’s Chancellor Vratislav Mynář.Mr. Mynář rejected any involvement.
Other overly generous contributions were made to clubs in the Liberec region, where the former head of the Football Association Miroslav Pelta comes from.
Criticism has been sparked by confirmation from the Czech president’s
office that some of his closest aides have travelled to China to find out
the circumstances surrounding the head of the Chinese company CEFC.
The president’s office confirmed Friday that chancellor Vratislav Mynář and economic advisor Martin Nejedlý have flown to Shanghai to find out what has happened to the head of the company Je Jianming who is believed to be under scrutiny for possible corruption.
CEFC was the Chinese company that spearheaded a wave of Chinese investment in the Czech Republic but many of the deals now appear threatened or are on hold. Je Jianming also has the status of advisor to Czech president Miloš Zeman.
The Czech delegation was reported to have returned to Prague on Saturday to brief president Zeman.
Some Czech politicians have said it is totally inappropriate that Czechs should be trying to delve into internal Chinese affairs and have called for a parliamentary committee to raise the issue, according to public broadcaster Czech Television.
The lower house on Wednesday supported a proposal to increase the security
clearance for the president’s chancellor to the highest level. The
proposal, put forward by the Mayors and Independents Party, was approved in
its first reading despite ANO party and the Communist deputies voting
The proposal comes as reaction to the fact the current chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has been holding the post despite having failed to pass the top-level security clearance. If the amendment is approved, Mr Mynář would have to get the highest level clearance by the end of the year to remain in the post of a chancellor.
The president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, owns property and other
assets worth hundreds of millions of crowns, according to news site iDnes,
citing the chancellor’s tax declaration. The story was also reported by
Czech Radio on Friday.
According to iDnes, the chancellor owns 125 plots of land, shares in Unipetrol and Pražská teplárenská and has around 13.5 million crowns in the bank. He is owed some 60 million crowns he lent to his own companies. The report confirmed he also owned a building at Prague Castle worth around 70 million crowns, a villa in Strašnice, and property in Brno.
The chancellor has routinely made headlines since the start of his tenure – and faced continued criticism – for not having the level of security clearance required for the post.