Czech Supreme Court closes case of vote-buying at Romani housing estate, public interest of secret recording was key
The Czech Supreme Court has closed a case about vote-buying in the runup to local elections in 2014 at the Chanov housing estate. The case charged Hana Jeníčková, the former Vice-Mayor of Most from the "Association of Most Residents for Most" who later became an opposition city councilmember, and Jan Hašek, former director of the city's sports hall, with attempting to buy votes from local residents.
The court in Most found both politicians guilty and sentenced them to half a year in prison, suspended. The appeals court in Ústí nad Labem, however, did not identify with that sentencing and ordered the convicts to pay CZK 50 000 [EUR 1 950].
Crucial evidence in the case was a recording of the defendants that they alleged was acquired illegally. They therefore appealed to the Supreme Court, which has now rejected them, stating that in some cases police are able to use secret recordings as evidence despite the fact that the recordings were acquired without the prior approval of the court.
In this case, according to the Supreme Court, the public interest predominates over the rights of the defendants to privacy. The recording captures Hašek and Jeníčková agreeing on how and in exchange for what monetary equivalent they will arrange to bribe Romani voters to vote for Jeníčková.
The recording was acquired by a local resident, the Romani activist Peter Bažo, who most probably made it after reaching agreement with a political rival of Hašek and Jeníčková's, businessman Jiří Zelenka of Most and the "Severočeši.cz" movement, who provided the activist with the recording equipment. "You're saying it flat out, that's good. These people, naturally, anticipate remuneration, money," Jeníčková says on the recording, part of which was published by news server seznamzpravy.cz.
- Czech lower house refuses vote about denier of Romani genocide as vice-chair, Christian Democrats call for extraordinary session
- Analysis: Publicly active Romani figures voted for Drahoš, the socially excluded voted for Zeman
- Jan Cverčko: Romale, vote for Jiří Drahoš!
- Which Czech presidential candidate will Romani voters choose? Apparently not Zeman
- Czech presidential elections: Voters don't have to go to their home precinct if they have a voter pass
- Civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council call on voters not to re-elect Zeman
- Czech elections: Vote-buying suspected in poor community, Roma not involved
- Romani candidates not seated in Czech lower house, Beňák and Tišer got the most preferential votes
- Karel Karika, candidate for the Czech lower house: Roma must not be exploited into selling their votes
- Alena Gronzíková: Romale, don't be lazy, vote! Otherwise Okamura will govern us!
- Iveta Bílková: Romani people must vote - it is a citizen's most basic right
- Karel Holomek calls on Romani voters not to re-elect Czech President Zeman
- Czech court fines politician for bribery and extortion in attempt to buy votes of Romani people
- Czech politician and sports figure convicted of buying Romani votes
- Commentary: Monothematic parties lose, but carefully-expressed bigotry wins votes in the Czech Republic
- Commentary: Czech Regional and Senate elections - Roma didn't vote, Romani candidates didn't win
- Analysis: Czech town approves construction of "container" housing on estate mostly inhabited by Romani people
- Petr Torák: Hate crimes spiked in the UK after the Brexit referendum, what will the elections bring?
- Slovakia ahead of elections: Romani candidate suing fascists for defamation
- Czech fan of ultra-nationalist party gets suspended sentence for wearing Nazi symbols to demonstration
- In future, Czech quarterly reports on extremism may mention only settled cases, not ones in progress
- Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion objects to disinformation published about its proposals for infamous housing estate
- Czech politician misquotes meeting with Romani residents of at-risk housing estate, they correct the record
- Czech court gives suspended sentences and fines to "Bloc against Islamicization" followers over death threats to random pedestrians
- EU Court of Justice: EU Member State courts can instruct Facebook to delete illegal posts, including insults
- Czech court rules no mass vote-buying in local elections in Bílina this time, results stand
- Czech court acquits man of using force against two racists who insulted him
- Romani educator at school serving infamous Czech housing estate wouldn't want to work anywhere else