Czech Senators Seek Treason Charges Against President

A group of 28 Czech senators submitted a request to file treason charges against President Vaclav Klaus over an amnesty he granted to thousands at the start of the year.

The upper house of parliament, controlled by the opposition Social Democrats, will vote on the request if the chamber’s administrative committee rules the proposal is valid, the Prague-based Senate said on its website today. If approved, the charges would be filed at the Constitutional Court.

The Social Democrats, the most popular party in opinion polls and the largest in both houses of the legislature, has criticized Klaus’s amnesty of convicted criminals and suspects and last month initiated a no-confidence vote against the government over the President’s move. Klaus has repeatedly said the amnesty was in line with legislation.

Klaus, the Czech Republic’s highest-profile critic of the European Union and its common currency, will leave his post next week when his second and the final term expires on March 7. One of his most eminent acts during the 10-year presidency was to delay signing of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

The request for treason charges includes Klaus’s refusal to sign the amendment to the treaty that created the European Stability Mechanism, the bloc’s rescue fund, the CTK newswire reported today.