Wife of Czech ex-PM acquitted by court of abuse of power

AP News
Posted: May 29, 2015 7:19 AM

PRAGUE (AP) — A Prague court on Friday acquitted the wife of former Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas of abuse of power charges in a case that brought down his government.

Jana Necasova, formerly Jana Nagyova, was charged along with two former heads of the military intelligence agency, Ondrej Palenik and Milan Kovanda, and intelligence agent Jan Pohunek.

Prosecutors charged that Nagyova — then Necas' chief of staff and mistress — ordered the military intelligence agency to spy on Necas' estranged wife in 2012 to gain personal information about her. They said such activities would need court approval or would have to be approved by the government or the president.

Prosecutors proposed a prison term of 3½ years for Necasova and similar sentences for the others. All had pleaded not guilty.

Judge Helena Kralova of the Prague 1 district court ruled that they didn't commit a crime. Kralova didn't immediately explain her decision, saying it included classified information. Most of the trial was held behind closed doors.

The verdict is not final, as the prosecution immediately appealed.

After his government fell in June 2013 in a spectacular whirlwind of corruption and marital infidelity allegations, Necas admitted his affair with Nagyova and divorced his first wife.

Necas was a witness in the case he previously described as "a political process."

His conservative Civic Democratic Party once dominated national politics, but received a record low 7.7 percent share of the vote in the 2013 early parliamentary election.