What began as one of many President Zeman’s inappropriate punchlines could have been remedied and easily forgotten on October 25. But no – “I am the king, I am the law!” or a somewhat similar mindset must be upheld by Zeman and his closest aides.
After losing a court case with Terezie Kaslova – whose grandfather, Czech journalist and writer Ferdinand Peroutka, Zeman accused of writing an article titled “Hitler is a Gentleman” – the Office of the President was ordered to issue an official apology, which should have been posted publicly on the Castle’s website for 30 days.
Failing to prove the president’s words the Office should have apologized on his behalf.
Was there an apology? Of course not. That’s when the court executor stepped in and issued a 100,000 crowns fine. With an annual budget of 458 million crowns, the fine doesn’t seem significant, right? What could have been significant is that the Office would have paid for the president’s lies. First time ever in modern Czech history.
But the president and the Office are of a different opinion. On November 2, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic issued a resolution: the president does not have to apologize and the Office would not have to pay the fine. It slightly reminds of medieval times, when the law did not apply to the sovereign.
The resolution suggests that the apology and fine of 100,000 crowns could do a “serious harm” to the Office. The Supreme Court is yet to examine the whole case more deeply. Hopefully, the official motto from the president’s flag – “Truth prevails” – will come in full effect.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the contributor do not necessarily represent the stance of the Lennon Wall staff or Anglo-American University.
Illustration by Klara Chmelářová