Slow judiciary hinders those who investigate communist-era crimes
Vaclav Havel and the chief state attorney Marie Benesova have agreed that the Czech judicial system is too slow in dealing with the crimes of Communism, writes Adam Drda in LN. Havel pronounced that this laxity is connected with the overall small desire of society to look its own past in the face. Havel has been criticized - rightly, says Drda - his share in creating this social climate by, for instance, his friendly relations with former member of the Communist nomenclature Marian Calfa, by doing business with Chemapol, whose CEO Vladimir Junek was probably an StB agent, and his resistance to the lustration law. However, these justified reproaches against Havel do not alter the fact that he is right in saying that the judicial system does not exist in a vacuum. Among lawyers collaboration with the totalitarian regime was especially extensive, and though the situation is slowly changing judges with a critical view of Communism are still an exception, writes Drda. The doctrine of legal positivism prevails. Judges in many cases change from people who should make just decisions in accordance with their own judgement into a people who merely apply a legal paragraph. Judges do not fear that they will be criticized for their indulgence towards former Communists and secret police agents on trial. And why should they, asks Drda rhetorically, in a country where political life is literally crawling with former active Communists who have often not in the least reflected on their role in the previous regime, and in which former Communist approved pop stars are popular. One or two StB agents, who should long ago have been in jail, will probably finally be sentenced. However, there is reason to fear that Czech society has missed -- once and for all - its chance to come to terms in a deeper way with its Communist past.
In a guest column in LN, entrepreneur Jakub Horak defends the decision of rock group Lucie not to take part in the ceremony for the "Czech Nightingale" awards because of their objections to the level of programs shown on TV Nova, which screened the ceremony live. TV Nova is a prime example of a "tunnel" in which a business gained an unfair advantage, and profit, by lying about its intentions, says Horak. TV Nova was granted the license, for free, on the basis of a project that it would screen intellectually demanding programs and programs for minorities. In fact, it screens mostly stupid soap operas and mindless entertainment. If the CR had wanted such a channel it could have sold the license and not handed it over for free to Nova. TV Nova CEO, "intellectual" Vladimir Zelezny, defends his programs by arguing that they are what viewers want, indicating that he himself would prefer something more appetizing. This is not true. Popular faces sometimes disappear from Nova overnight. Whoever ceases to be obedient disappears form the screen - and Nova "produces" new stars whom it can control. In the case of Nova millions did not disappear from an investment fund -- the perception of reality of a generation disappeared, says Horak.
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