Czech PM Resigns Amid Anti-Corruption Probe
PRAGUE—Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas announced his resignation late Sunday. Several high-level Czech officials and two former members of parliament were accused Friday of offering or taking bribes and misuse of authority. They were arrested Thursday during unprecedented raids by the Czech Republic’s anti-mafia police division.
During the raids, police made eight arrests, conducted 31 house searches, and confiscated around 120 million to 150 million Czech crowns ($6 million–$7.5 million) in cash, tens pounds of gold and “valuable documents,” said Robert Slachta, chief of the police division for fighting organized crime at a press conference broadcast by Czech TV on Friday.
Trail Leads to Prime Minister
Prime Minister Necas allegedly bribed three members of parliament.
“After Sept. 18, 2012, Prime Minister Petr Necas offered, through Jana Nagyova and Roman Bocek, a bribe in the form of important positions to three members of the parliament,” news website iDnes.cz quotes police documents.
The reference is to a tense situation last year, when three MPs from the ruling Civic Democratic Party refused to vote for a proposed tax law. As the cabinet tied the law with a no-confidence vote, all three MPs later gave up their mandates to let the law pass.
Jana Nagyova, the prime minister’s chief of staff, was also arrested Friday. She is also accused of misuse of authority for ordering surveillance of Neca’s wife through the Czech Military Intelligence Agency (MIA). Three officials from the MIA, including the current chief of the agency Milan Kovanda and his predecessor Ondrej Palenik, were also arrested.
The reason Nagyova ordered the surveillance was “purely personal,” said deputy chief-prosecutor Pavel Komar at Friday’s press conference.
Leader of the Czech Social-Democratic Party, the opposition party, Bohuslav Sobotka at the press conference called the situation “unprecedented” and “scandalous,” and asked for early elections.