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.
Trust in the country’s president, Miloš Zeman, has fallen to its lowest in the past 12 months, a poll - conducted on the heels of Czech-born Holocaust survivor George Brady being overlooked for a state distinction - suggests. Other missteps or scandals since, including the latest involving the outgoing head of protocol at Prague Castle, could negatively impact the numbers further.
The president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has described a court decision handed down on Thursday as a “3:1 win” for the Czech head-of-state. While the court on Thursday upheld an earlier ruling ordering President Zeman to apologise to the granddaughter of Czech journalist Ferdinand Peroutka (for claiming Mr Perouka once wrote an article describing Adolf Hitler as a gentleman) the judge likewise ruled that the president did not have to apologize for his claim that Peroutka was fascinated by Nazism or for saying that one of his articles was openly anti-Semitic. The president’s chancellor Vratislav Mynář said that although the “Hitler was a gentleman” article was never found, it did not mean “it did not exist”.
The National Security Office has rejected an appeal from the president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, over the office’ s rejection of his application for top level security clearance, Czech Television reported on Tuesday, adding that Mr Mynář will now appeal the decision at a court. Mr Mynář previously said that he expected the verdict. The spokesman of the president, Jiří Ovčáček, told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday that Miloš Zeman will not dismiss the chancellor until he has exhausted all avenues of appeal, including at the Supreme Administrative Court.