“The position of a lawyer can always cause speculation and weaken the position of the supreme prosecutor. Now that’s nothing against the legal profession. However, it should be noted that they have a number of clients behind them, and they themselves are also involved in business, politics, various associations, supervisory boards, and joint-stock companies. Unlike prosecutors and judges, who are prohibited from doing this,” he told Právu Stříž.
The position of a lawyer can always give rise to speculation
According to Blažek, it will still be discussed at the parliamentary and government level. “I consider the arguments of not only Igor Stříž to be very serious, and there will undoubtedly be a debate about it in the government. I’m not going there with the idea that even judges and lawyers will be able to be the supreme prosecutor through my dead body, that’s not the case. Maybe we’ll go back to my original proposal and there will be peace,” the minister pointed out that in his version of the amendment there was no option to appoint a lawyer as the chief prosecutor.
This variant appeared only last autumn after the intervention of government parliamentary clubs. “If the House decides that in the end it can only be a public prosecutor, I won’t mind,” added the minister. However, he is concerned that the situation does not degenerate during the discussion of this amendment in the lower house of the parliament.
“In the House of Representatives, this law has always provoked great creativity. If a wave of creativity rises there again now, the law will not exist. That is quite possible,” warned Blažek.
Length of mandate? We’ll make a deal
The second problematic point of the current proposal is the length of the mandate for the supreme prosecutor. While Stříž would like to see a ten-year mandate, as with the presidents of the highest courts, in the amendment it is limited to a period of seven years. At the same time, the senior prosecutors also have the same length of time, but in addition, unlike the highest, they can repeat their mandate. Striž does not consider this to be correct, because according to him the mandates should overlap.
“The length of the mandate is not something that I would jump over if the House of Representatives says seven, eight, nine or ten years… But it is not terribly fundamental, rather a technical matter that will be agreed upon somehow,” the minister commented, adding that in the case of the shortest of these options, the deputies could agree on repeating the mandate for the supreme prosecutor as well.
Striž doesn’t want that. “I would not agree with that, because we consider it important that the Attorney General cannot repeat his mandate, because he is after all a political figure, and his position should be independent and uninfluenced enough so that there can be no speculation that he is trying to to satisfy and repeat the mandate,” stated the supreme prosecutor.
According to Stříž, he now has no other choice but to constantly repeat his reservations, either publicly or to people who will be interested. “The last time I repeated this was a week ago to the deputies of the constitutional and legal committee of the House of Representatives,” Stříž told Práv.
Blažek believes that, compared to previous efforts, this time the bill in the House of Representatives should at least pass with a coalition majority. “But I also want to talk about it with the opposition and I would like it to pass with more than just 108 votes, maybe 190,” concluded the minister.
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