Prague Chief Prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová rejects criticism of Justice Minister Marie Benešová (for ANO). "We are successful in the investigation, the data from the ministry are distorted," says LN.
LN: On Sunday, June 23, there were mass demonstrations against Prime Minister Andrei Babis (ANO). The protest movement was a concern of people that you, amongst other things, would not be deliberately deprived of their duties and undermined the independence of the investigation. Did you personally feel the Sunday protest?
I can only say that I think we should think about the opinions of others. Demonstrations are usually defined as gathering people just to express a common standpoint. But any further comment on current demonstrations is banned as a prosecutor.
LN: If you could, would you demonstrate against the Babyska government?
As I said, my duty as a prosecutor is not to comment anymore.
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LN: Czech society is highly polarized. Are you afraid of that?
Polarized society is a common phenomenon in today's world, a non-specific feature of the Czech Republic and deals with social sciences across the continent. In this context, I am concerned that this phenomenon is closely related to how facts stop paying. More important than what someone says is who it says. Along with this, false news and social bubbles are joined. The analysis of this phenomenon is not only important for sociologists and economists, but also for today's reality in our work. Of course, it also influences the ways of communication, which often show increased aggression.
LN: What do you think, why such protests did not happen in 2016, when the police president and the interior ministry destroyed the detective Robert Šlachtu?
With all due respect for the police, which enjoys great public confidence and its role in the functioning of the state, I believe that society is aware of the principle of the separation of powers that the democratic states rely on. Judicial power is one of the pillars. At the same time, the prosecution rightly perceives the wider public as part of the broader judicial system and, as in the courts, it is linked to the principles of independence that ensure impartial and just decision. At the same time, it shows greater sensitivity in detecting possible threats.
LN: Justice Minister Marie Benesov criticized the state attorney for a large number of unsuccessful cases. – I'm afraid there are a lot of things out there. And we pay it. The costs of these things, where the prosecutor was unsuccessful, are growing. I'm very worried, "the minister said. How do you rate her words?
I have clear information for that. During my tenure in this office, prosecutors in serious cases of economic corruption and terrorist offenses have accused a total of 528 people. From this number, the courts have so far brought more than 20 percent of their decisions, and five percent have been released. The rest have not yet decided the court.
LN: Are there data for the period before the beginning of 2012 work?
For comparison, at the time when the current minister was in the position of the Supreme State Attorney, 131 of the 131 High State Attorney in Prague were accused of 131 persons, of whom 30 per cent were acquitted, 20 per cent was halted while others were convicted. At the time Renata Vesecká was a state attorney, 488 persons were indicted. Out of that number, more than 24 percent were released, 50 percent were convicted, and the rest of the lawsuit was halted.
LN: Where did the numbers from which Benes came came from?
The data that appeared in the media a few weeks ago came from statistics handled by the Ministry of Justice. I personally surprised them because I was following the success of our stuff.
LN: Have you manually checked the cases?
I checked all the data by opening each file and checking the numbers. We have come up with quite different conclusions. The percentage of the Ministry of Justice's report on the success of the plaintiff's work is misleading. The media figure is calculated as the ratio between the number of persons in the year of the accused and the number of persons in the same year sentenced in completely different criminal cases. If you reflect the length of criminal proceedings, when courts decide on accused in serious cases prosecuted by prosecutors of the High Prosecutor's Office in Prague after more than five years, it is clear that these figures are distorted. This was also reflected in the published 2018 statistics on PES in Prague.
LN: Are there even cases that began to investigate when Marie Benesova acted as a prosecutor?
An unfavorable number was largely influenced by the decision to waive the seventeen people from the criminal proceedings, which was launched in 2005, when the current state attorney is the current minister and the court was introduced in 2010. if not fully interpreted.
LN: In your opinion, should bible ministerial numbers serve as a stick for you?
If the criticism is material, it is necessary to think about it and analyze it – it is what it did. The prosecutor's office is in good standing and the relationship between the justice and prosecutor's office in the exercise of authority is clearly defined by law. I do not want to explain the reasons for criticism and I will not guess. The minister expressed his opinion, I took the problem. I came to a clear conclusion and addressed the Supreme State Attorney to systematically address the shortcomings in reporting the prosecutor's work together with the Ministry and to provide information to the Minister and the public in the future.
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LN: Recently in Prague came the draft report from Brussels on the use of subsidies and the alleged conflict of interest of Prime Minister Babis. This preliminary report also talks about a possible violation of the Czech law. Are you launching or have you already initiated criminal proceedings in this respect?
The document, which was published in the media, has already become known to the prosecutor. However, we are a state body with set commitments and in such cases we can only draw conclusions from official documents, of which no doubt. That's why we are looking for authentic materials and, as usual, we will work with them. Any other comment I would consider at this time, when the office I am dealing with is unprofessional.
LN: When can we expect a decision on how to act in the case of Chapa's Nest, where Prime Minister Babiš is among the accused?
The question could only be answered by the supervisor Jaroslav Šaroch, who supervised the police investigation and decided on the next procedure. Based on similar issues, I can estimate the usual time for decision-making at the level of regional prosecutors in my jurisdiction based on similar issues. The average is three months.
LN: Do you feel any pressure on this case?
I did not notice any intervention and I do not have such information from the municipal prosecution, which investigates the case. Prosecutors should be sufficiently experienced not to undergo any pressure, none of them and nothing can influence them.
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LN: A few weeks ago, the first instance court acquitted the defendants in the case of a "Prague Transport Ticket". One of them was lobbyist Ivo Rittig, who is now de facto ridiculed by Instagram investigators.
First of all, it must be said that the Czech judiciary is part of a better half of the EU countries with the duration of the proceedings. In most criminal proceedings, criminal proceedings, including final decisions, take less than a year. But apart from that, there are complicated and extensive things in which courts decide for years, and it should be said that in these cases the number of cases in which courts differ and make decisions several times, often with completely different conclusions. We have a certain difference in opinion and it is natural.
LN: Do you feel demotion?
Disappointment and doubt are accompanied by cases in which the same court decides otherwise in the same procedural situation or the Appellate Court does not respect the opinion of the Appellate Court and the case is repeated several times. And indeed, demotivating situations in which the court is moving with the public criticism of the prosecutor's work, and the criticisms later emerge as unjustified. This, of course, threatens not only public confidence in the prosecution but also takes the strength and motivation of the police and prosecutors.
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LN: How are some cases wielding more than ten years?
Unfortunately, they are often seen and significant from the point of view of the public; These are Berke's cases (former judge Jiří Berka was convicted of manipulated bankruptcy in 2018. But the case broke out in 2003, Ed.) Or Kadlec (former head of state company Čepro Tomáš Kadlec has been prosecuted since 2006, the case is still I personally believe that speeding up the process would benefit from judicial specialization and a pragmatic understanding of the reasoning of the decision, instead of hundreds of pages, the party's statement on factual considerations, but this is primarily a matter for judges.
LN: The Annual Report of the Supreme State Attorney's Office in 2018 states that "there is an increasing incidence of complex and extensive issues, which require enormous efforts and an increasing level of expertise in law enforcement." How do investigators deal with such a situation?
These are, above all, the manifestations of economic, property crime and organized crime in all its forms. Organized crime has changed over the nineties, it has a transnational character, it grants large profits often by attacking public resources, and is backed by a strong economic and legal background.
LN: Is there a special training for prosecutors?
I personally see the path to the consistent expertise of prosecutors and their support of expert teams. Professional seminars are a matter today, even at the international level. However, personal experience often plays a key role. The interest of young people in the work of the plaintiff is proportionate to our needs. Complementation takes place at two levels, in the system of self-education of law trainees and in the form of candidates for competition with other jurisprudence.
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LN: Is Cybercrime Crashed?
Definitely. There is a direct link between the use of internet space services and the amount of crime. We must distinguish cybercrime from attacks on state infrastructure and the internet as a means of committing crimes. Property crime is growing with the use of electronic resources. An unsafe feature is anonymity, everyone can become a hero. The brutality of the violent criminal offenses of juvenile perpetrators of criminal offenses influenced by the use of the Internet is growing. We need to adapt our practices to this trend, both in detection and prevention. Now we know that traditional ways of exploring this area do not work. But it is not just about contemporary society in the Czech Republic, but also in other countries.
LN: How many hate crimes are dangerous for the company's development – for example, in an article discussion or social networking on Facebook?
Let's learn from history, where societies have left the free passage of public hatred towards race, ethnicity, social group or even called and celebrated. What inevitable consequences caused these manifestations! To do so, we must realize that at that time there was no effective means of spreading hatred and propaganda available to modern society. I believe that crimes are generally known as hate crimes are extremely dangerous and always pose serious questions to me.
Not only who stands behind hatred and harmful comments and contributions, but also why they are writing. Is it inadequate education, frustration, fear? You know, we often feel a sense of helplessness when we enter the state of evil caused by the fact that our law does not provide enough means to gain evidence – although hundreds of people have seen that hatred commentary. Aggression in speech has recently increased without precedent, it is a dangerous occurrence that we, prosecutors, as well as the police, are intensely involved and punished.
LN: How can such occurrences be prevented?
Some countries intensify repression and increase punishment, others focus on prevention, support non-governmental organizations that overcome prejudices and fears that often exacerbate crimes in the trial. I believe that prevention at all levels is important.
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LN: You are doing a lot of lectures in various parts of the country. Is cyber crime, internet abuse, and aggression in expressing what you emphasize when you talk about people?
Definitely. I consider it important to teach children in elementary schools. High school students and students have often experienced positive, negative and positive experiences. Smaller children need to learn to work with the Internet, not just after they are a victim of a crime. Small children need to explain which problems and negatives are brought by the Internet. We also produce from abroad.
LN: Czech investigators are beginning to deal with crimes in the Catholic Church, especially those related to sexual harassment by boys and girls by church dignitaries. How's the investigation going?
Our institution does not directly look at these suspicions, but we have initiated subordinated prosecutors to deal with things – based on information that appeared in the media. I have the information that a particular office has started dealing with the case and the investigation is under way. This is very important to me.
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LN: Is there a danger that the acts will be banned?
Although the victims of crime have spoken for many years, it is necessary to clarify this issue in this case. We must act carefully and reasonably, and not sharply condemn – whether they are victims or alleged perpetrators. Investigations will be complicated because the trace of memory and perception of the act and victim experience change over the years. Negotiations may be prohibited. However, it is important to name them, and victims must be given the opportunity to discover their story and experience.
LN: How did the church manage to keep these cases? Not only in this country, but also in the world, such cases appear.
The victim's decision to declare the key is crucial – maybe there is an impulse for another potential victim that I know, family support, social climate change, and support for non-governmental organizations. This is probably the first such media test. The relationship between the spiritual and the believer in his parish is a specific, usually very close family, followed with extraordinary respect. The relationship between church leaders and parishioners is accompanied by a higher level of trust, which is the difference between sexual assaults when the perpetrator and the victim do not know each other. The close relationship between a perpetrator and a victim, whether inside a parish or a family, is often the reason why victims do not want to talk about a crime. I can follow the feelings of shame, failure and disappointment.
LN: Does the number of reported cases increase in the church?
This is an open case so I can not talk about it. However, in general, any activity of a society that demonstrates that such acts are not tolerated will stimulate the victim.
LN: How do you explain that the world has started talking about these cases? Is it because of the priesthood of a person who says that such behavior of church dignitaries can not be ignored and must be investigated?
Definitely. It can also be a social debate that highlights the topic. Be aware that the media has a lot more about it. I think that for many people the public debate is a key incentive to find the courage to report crime.
LN: Is the process of detecting these crimes in the Church something special about the procedures of detecting another type of crime?
For these types of crime, the police are working with a vulnerable victim, they must be treated specially, such victims deserve a special approach. You must be prepared to provide psychological or social assistance to the victim at the same time. Similar is the investigation of criminal offenses committed in the family.