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Czech prosecutors seek to investigate former PM

Czech prosecutors on Monday asked the Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Czech], the lower house of parliament, to strip former prime minister Petr Necas [official website] of his immunity so that they may investigate his part in a widespread corruption scandal [BBC backgrounder]. Necas resigned last month following the arrest of his closest aide Jana Nagyova [BBC profile], who was charged with bribery and abuse of office when she allegedly offered parliamentary deputies positions in state companies in return for abandoning a rebellion against the prime minister last year. Speaker Miroslava Nemcova [official website, in Czech] stated on Czech public television that the house will vote on the request to remove immunity no earlier than September. Neither parliament nor the prosecutors have released any information on the nature of the potential charges against Necas, who denies any wrongdoing. If charged, Necas will be the first head of government to face criminal charges in the Czech Republic's modern history.

Czech president Milos Zeman named Jiri Rusnok as the new prime minister [BBC report] on June 25. In March the Czech senate voted to impeach [JURIST report] former president Vaclav Klaus for allegedly violating the constitution by refusing the appoint judges, refusing to ratify European treaties after adoption by the Senate and declaring a broad and controversial amnesty in January, which led to the release of nearly 6,000 prisoners [Economist report]. The Czech Republic was the last EU member state to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon [BBC backgrounder] in 2009, which sought to amend the treaties forming the constitutional basis of the EU. In November 2009 Klaus signed the treaty [JURIST report] after the country's Constitutional Court ruled that the treaty did not conflict with the country's constitution.

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