5 Mar 2013

President facing treason charge

9:57 am on 5 March 2013

The upper house of the Czech parliament has voted to charge President Vaclav Klaus with high treason over a decision to pardon 7000 prisoners.

The amnesty was announced in January. But the BBC reports it was an associated move halting the prosecution of cases that had dragged on for more than eight years, that has caused widespread public anger.

In one fell swoop, a dozen high-profile corruption cases involving asset-stripping, bribes and fraud, were thrown out.

Thirty-eight of the 81 senators voted on Monday to impeach the president and 30 voted against. Only the Senate has such power in the Czech legal system.

Mr Klaus is due to leave office on Thursday after serving two terms.