Share This Page

Czech corruption scandal widens

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 9:06 p.m.
REUTERS
Jana Nagyova, top aide to Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, is one of seven people charged with abuse of power or corruption.

PRAGUE — A multi-pronged scandal involving the prime minister's top aide, his estranged wife, military spy chiefs, former ruling party lawmakers and kilograms of gold raised unanswered questions on Friday about the troubled government of Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas.

Nobody outside the halls of Czech power seems to know what's going on or how the rapidly moving developments are connected, but a list of them reads like elements in a spy novel:

• The Czech military was spying on the prime minister's estranged wife.

• Millions of dollars and a stash of gold bars were seized by hooded police in 31 raids nationwide.

• Seven people have been charged with abuse of power or corruption, according to prosecutors.

Czechs, who have grown used to corruption scandals since the fall of communism — including a former defense minister asking the U.S. ambassador for a $5 million bribe — are watching the developments with bewilderment.

Czech police and prosecutors said on Friday they believe Necas' closest aide ordered a military intelligence agency to spy on three people, vastly overstepping her authority.

Prosecutor Ivo Istvan said that Jana Nagyova, the head of the prime minister's office, has been charged with abuse of power, and six others face charges of abuse of power or corruption.

The opposition is calling for Necas to stand down and for early elections to be held. He has refused their demands and, so far, has the backing of his coalition partners.

Necas announced earlier this week that he and his wife Radka filed for divorce. Tabloid newspapers have speculated about an affair between him and Nagyova.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.