Investigation quickly absolves Prague mayor of wrongdoing

15 July 1997

The Czech Press Service reported on July 16 that the state attorney for the fourth district of Prague would not seek legal action against Senator Zdeněk Klausner, the Prague 4 district mayor, for his article published on the front page of the Prague 4 district newspaper Tučňák in early July. In the article, Senator Klausner offered had advice to landlords in his district:

"We remain very concerned by the security situation in Nusle. It is the result of the specific nature of this quarter, in which the previous regime attempted the assimilation of the Romani minority. Some destroyed (vybydlené) flats are evidence that this policy did not succeed. Good news, then, for all fellow citizens of this quarter might be the information about one municipal house which was sold, and whose new owner lodged a number of large problem families in replacement flats not only outside Nusle, but actually outside Prague. Perhaps this procedure could be an inspiration for other private owners of several houses around Bratří Synků Square, who inherited problem tenants after 1989."

According to the prosecutor, Klausner's statement was not tantamount to either defamation or incitement to racial hatred.

The ERRC finds Klausner's use of his public office lament able. Klausner has issued a statement Galling his own original formulation "unfortunate", but has not publicly apologised. The Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes noted on July 22 that Klausner has enormous support in his constituency. (Czech Press Service)


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