World

Czech prosecutors prepare to charge ex-prime minister

A scandal forced Petr Necas to resign as prime minister.
A scandal forced Petr Necas to resign as prime minister.

PARIS — Czech prosecutors asked the Parliament on Monday to strip former prime minister Petr Necas of immunity from prosecution. Law enforcement officials said the request was a prelude to charging Necas with corruption.

Necas would be the highest level official to face corruption charges in the country since the fall of communism.

A bookish, churchgoing father of four, Necas came to power in 2010 promising to clean up a culture of cronyism and corruption, but he was forced to resign last month after his chief of staff was charged with bribery and abuse of office.

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The chief of staff — Jana Nagyova, a close confidante of Necas — is accused of ordering the secret services to spy on Necas’s estranged wife.

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Nagyova has also been charged with offering bribes in the form of posts at state-owned companies to three members of Parliament who opposed a government austerity plan.

Prosecutors said they were examining whether Necas had links to the bribery scheme, which some analysts and supporters of Necas have dismissed as the routine trading of political favors rather than a criminal act.

Necas said Monday that political agreements could not be considered crimes.

“It is not clear to me what I should be charged with,” he said in a statement.

New York Times