President Zeman pardoned accused leader of Lánské obora Balák

Prague – President Miloš Zeman has pardoned the head of Lány’s forestry administration, Miloš Balák, who was found guilty of influencing a public contract in Lánská obora. He considered his integrity and hard work. According to Zeman, the nature of the act was probably not decisive for Balák’s conviction, but the place where he works. This was stated today by the President’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček in a press release sent to ČTK. Mercy for Balak does not meet the conditions set by the President for its award. Zeman has already granted 21 pardons, including 12 during his second term.

Last week, Balák was finally sentenced to three years in prison for influencing a 200 million public contract to secure and drain the slopes of the Lánská game reserve around the Klíčava reservoir. According to the verdict, he should also pay 1.8 million crowns and receive a four-year ban on activity. Zeman forgave him for his decision.

Lány Forestry Administration is a contributory organization of the Office of the President of the Republic, Balák is a subordinate of President Chancellor Vratislav Mynář. He has so far refused to fire Balák, justifying his actions on the presumption of innocence. Balák also faces charges in court in connection with stone quarrying in Lánská obora.

Balák wrote in a statement sent to Deník N that he himself had asked for mercy. “My family and I are personally grateful to the President for holding me back and showing me mercy at a crucial time in my life. Perhaps it was easier for the President to decide that he was following my work at the forest administration of Lány for nine years. and knows what I have done in the field with my colleagues in recent years, “he says. He criticized the media and the courts. “From the moment I asked clemency, I knew that if successful, the same media would hunt me down and lynch me,” he added.

The President of the Republic pardoned the pardoned man with a prison sentence, a fine and a ban on activity, consisting of a ban on exercising the function of legal representative of the organizational units of the state and other state-owned corporations, with the effect of eradicating convictions. These sentences were pronounced for the offense of obtaining an advantage during the award of a public contract, a public call for tenders and a public auction.

Zeman, when deciding on the pardon, took into account, on the one hand, that the pardon was always innocent, he is known to the president as an extremely hardworking and skilled manager. At the same time, however, after reviewing the judgment of the trial court, which was upheld by the court of appeal, he concluded that the nature of the act was probably not determinative of a strict conviction, but also where the convict works, an unknown aspect of criminal law.

Zeman said before the 2013 presidential election that he would only forgive in a strictly limited number of humanitarian cases. As a condition, he stipulated that the offender must not be responsible for a serious crime, that he must have serious health problems and a secure family environment. He repeatedly failed to follow these principles, for example, he pardoned life-sentenced double murderer Jiří Kajínek.

The granting of the pardon was announced by Prague Castle after an afternoon meeting with Justice Minister Pavel Blažek (ODS). According to the spokesman, Zeman informed him of his decision. They also discussed the request for clemency of Ukrainians serving a custodial sentence in the Czech Republic and the appointment of judges of ordinary courts.

The Justice Department said tonight that it had not received any pardons for Balak. “The ministry was in no way involved in this decision,” the ministry said. Twitter. The ministry assesses clemency applications for the president and only submits to the castle those that meet the conditions set by Zeman.

Balák assisted Libor Tkadlec, the director of Energie – stavební a bánská (ESB), in the preparation and award of a public contract. The weaver was given a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence and a fine. He and Balak deny guilt. ESB must pay 5.4 million crowns and has a three-year ban on participating in public tenders.

The men influenced the preparation of the project and violated the principles of public procurement, including equal access for all participants and transparency. ESB was supposed to make a profit of almost nine million crowns on the contract, but this did not happen due to the initiation of criminal proceedings.

The contract, which amounted to more than 200 million, was for the second stage of securing and draining the slopes of Lánská obora and their rehabilitation. According to the court, among other things, Balák allowed Tkadlec to participate in the preparation of project documentation for the contract and to familiarize themselves in advance with the places where the work will take place.

Abuse of power, mockery, contempt for justice, politicians criticize Balak’s clemency

Petr Fiala’s (ODS) premiere surprised Balák. He fears that, given the circumstances of the case, this will contribute to citizens’ confidence in the country’s judicial system, Fiala told Czech television. The pardon is the prerogative of the president, which does not require the co-signature of the prime minister, such as an amnesty or the end of criminal proceedings.

Fial’s predecessor as Prime Minister and President of YES, Andrej Babiš, described the pardon granted to Balák as a very unfortunate decision that the public will not appreciate either. According to him, this undermines confidence in justice. “I don’t feel well at all at the mercy of the president today. It’s a very unfortunate decision for me and I’m sure the people won’t like it in court either,” the former said. Prime Minister.

“This type of presidential pardon calls into question its place in our justice system. Pardoning a close associate convicted of an economic crime is a display of protectionism and a selective approach. The speed with which the pardon was granted is also striking” , said Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN).

According to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09), Zeman abused Balák’s office by forgiving him and circumventing democratic principles. “This is a mockery of all those who uphold the law. The president will no longer be accountable to the electorate, but history will be ruthless to him,” she wrote on Twitter. She then told reporters that pardoning one of her closest aides, and moreover so quickly after the final verdict, was part of the “president’s modus operandi in recent years”. “When he himself ignored the declarations of justice which concerned his person, when he himself had to apologize,” she said. This is another remarkable change in President Zeman’s opinion, added Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (ODS). Zeman has argued in the past that pardon is a feudal survival, intending to grant it only in very exceptional cases, solely for humanitarian reasons.

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the pirates, Ivan Bartoš, also recalled Zeman’s previous position. “Today (out of pity) he used it for his chancellor’s convicted associate. He also challenged the decision of the tribunal, which must remain independent of politicians. The president should clearly justify his decision. This is a blow to justice in this country.” Bartoš wrote on Twitter.

“Cynicism, monstrosity, chucpe… Miloš Zeman is under the direct influence of the criminal environment,” said independent senator Pavel Fischer. ODS Senator Miroslava Němcová described the granting of pardons as an alliance of thugs and mafias. “Justice has been hit hard by the tailcoat. Babiš is next. That’s why he takes pictures with rabbits in peace. Alliance of thugs and mafias”, she reminded the prosecutor’s office of the former prime minister.

Former Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and current head of the Chamber’s Constitutional and Legal Committee, Radek Vondráček (YES), also views the President’s decision negatively. “The only reason to grant a pardon is the place of work of the person in question. It’s a bit of a devaluation of the work of the court,” Vondráček told Czech television. According to him, granting forgiveness to Balák does not correspond to the meaning of the institute of forgiveness, nor to the way Zeman promised to deal with pardons.

Head of Prosecutors Union: Grace’s pardon is unacceptable

The justification for the pardon granted by President Miloš Zeman to the head of the forest administration of Lány, Miloš Balák, is unacceptable in a State governed by the rule of law. President of the Union of State Prosecutors Jan Lata told ČTK today.

“The pardon granted can also be interpreted as meaning that people around President Miloš Zeman simply go unpunished,” Lata said.

Last Thursday, the appeals chamber confirmed Balák’s three-year prison sentence for influencing a 200 million public contract to secure and drain the Lánská obora slopes around the Klíčava reservoir. The man was also fined 1.8 million crowns and banned for four years. In today’s press release, the President’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček wrote that Zeman decided to grant his pardon on Saturday, two days after the court decision.

“In deciding on the pardon, the President of the Republic took into account that the pardon was always beyond reproach, known to the President of the Republic as an extremely hardworking and qualified manager, but at the same time, after learning that the nature of the act was probably not decisive for a strict conviction, but also the place where the convict works, which is an aspect that criminal law does not recognize,” Ovčáček said.

Prosecutor Jiří Pražák testified in court that Balák worked in the contributory organization of the Office of the President of the Republic when detecting criminal activities. According to Pražák, obtaining evidence was more difficult.

Rychetský considers Zeman’s rationale for pardon to be absurd

Rychetský is President of the Constitutional Court and former Minister of Justice. “Given my position as president, it is quite difficult to comment on this. The granting of a pardon in a given case where Mr. Balák has been convicted must be justified by the president on serious grounds,” said Rychetský .

According to him, the reasons should concern the state of health or serious family reasons. Rychetský considers Zeman’s claim that the court convicted Balak for working in the presidential office to be absurd. “With this explanation, the President strongly questions the impartiality and independence of our judicial system, which does not take it into account when deciding on guilt and sentence. Conviction is linked to the degree of offense and assessment of social harm.

Zeman said before the 2013 presidential election that he would only forgive in a strictly limited number of humanitarian cases. As a condition, he stipulated that the offender must not be responsible for a serious crime, that he must have serious health problems and a secure family environment. He repeatedly failed to follow these principles, for example, he pardoned life-sentenced double murderer Jiří Kajínek. Zeman has already granted 21 pardons, including 12 during his second term.

forests of grace Zeman Lány Balák

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