Seven charged in scandal threatening Czech PM: CTK agency

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 14, 2013 3:37 AM
Seven charged in scandal threatening Czech PM: CTK agency

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech police have charged seven people after a sweep of government and private offices, the news agency CTK quoted a state attorney as saying on Friday.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has been under pressure since police detained some of his close allies on Wednesday and Thursday, including the chief of his office.

It was not initially clear who had been charged or what the charges were. Transparency International, a non-governmental organization, has described the raids as a crackdown on corruption.

Ordinary Czechs see corruption as the country's biggest problem, with a poll in March showing people believed it was the biggest factor in political decision making.

The state attorney, Ivo Istvan, declined to comment to Reuters, saying he would give a news briefing at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT).

Necas refused to heed opposition calls to resign on Thursday but will face more pressure in parliament and from President Milos Zeman, his political opponent who had repeatedly made clear even before the police raids that he would prefer the government to go. Zeman was due to meet Necas later on Friday, and Zeman's office said the outcome was open.

Necas said on Thursday: "I am personally convinced that I did not do anything dishonest and that my colleagues have not done anything dishonest either. Therefore I do not have any reason to consider a resignation and, thus, the fall of the government."

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt; Editing by Kevin Liffey)