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Supporters of Czech deputy PM protest outside Vsetin Town Hall

Vsetin, 19.4.2007 20:02, (CTK)

Musician Zbynek Horvath, who organised today's demonstration, said that Cunek's prosecution is not a standard procedure. He stressed he is convinced that the case should help remove Cunek from politics.

A similar event was staged in Prague outside the Government Office on Wednesday. Some 800 people met there and Cunek, too, came to thank them.

Another demonstration is to take place outside the State Attorney's Office in Prerov, north Moravia, on Monday.

Horvath reiterated at today's meeting that the shameful practices of the Prerov State Attorney's Office, which does not hesitate to forge pieces of evidence, are behind the affair.

Cunek was also supported by former dissident and former BIS intelligence service officer Vladimir Hucin who appeared at the demonstration.

Current Vsetin mayor Kvetoslava Othova (KDU-CSL), who replaced Cunek in office, expressed full support for Cunek.

Cunek's supporters primarily criticise state attorney Radim Obst, supervising Cunek's case, for expediently drawing out the proceedings, and point to his alleged links to high officers of the former communist secret police (StB), which Obst denies.

Stetina and Hucin reminded of Obst's and his family's contacts with the StB previously. Stetina also claims that Cunek's corruption accusation is politically motivated as the suspicion of bribery emerged after Cunek joined the cabinet.

Stetina today stressed that Supreme State Attorney Renata Vesecka should dismiss Obst as he should not have been granted a security vetting. Stetina added that Vesecka and the anti-corruption police in Prague had started to check his information on Obst.

Apart from the accusation of corruption, Cunek faces legal complaints over his abusive statements on Romanies in the tabloid Blesk.

Last year, Cunek drew the public and media attention when he as mayor of Vsetin relocated local Romany rent-defaulters from a dilapidated house in the Vsetin centre to a new house made of tin container-like flats on the town's outskirts, while further Romany families were sent away from Vsetin and resettled elsewhere in Moravia.

Cunek was criticised by human rights activists for this step, but according to polls, his popularity among voters increased. Now his popularity is declining.

Cunek's activities have been criticised by the coalition partners of the junior ruling KDU-CSL. The junior government Greens have repeatedly called on PM Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS) to dismiss Cunek from the cabinet. Topolanek said he would be willing to do so if he did not threaten the future of the three-party coalition. The KDU-CSL leadership has so far backed up Cunek.

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Czech republic, Xenofobní výroky Jiřího Čunka



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