Justice. Judge hammer on the table

Senators Question Judicial Record of Constitutional Court Candidate Fremr

Fremr is said to have convicted more than 100 people for attempting emigration between 1983 and 1985. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, 7 August (CTK) – The addition of Robert Fremr, the deputy head of the Prague High Court, to the Constitutional Court is inappropriate, Senators Marek Hilser and Hana Kordova Marvanova wrote in a personal letter to President Petr Pavel, according to reports on server Echo24 yesterday.

They said that based on historical records, Fremr convicted more than 100 people for attempting emigration between 1983 and 1985, which the two senators interpreted as participation in a political case. Fremr should not be nominated, Hilser wrote on Twitter.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved the nomination of Fremr, a former vice-chairman of the International Criminal Court (ICC), to be a constitutional judge. Pavel said during a Senate debate about his nominations that he had not yet received any facts showing that Fremr had failed as a judge or a person.

Senators have so far pointed to the 1988 Olsany Cemetery case, in which the Communist secret police (StB) were involved in the prosecution. Fremr has denied any knowledge of it, or having deliberately and purposely decided the case on the instructions of the StB. He also denied having been a pro-regime judge during the communist era.

Hilser said on Twitter today that Fremr had not been telling the truth when he claimed in the Senate that he had not convicted anyone for political reasons during the totalitarian era. “Between 1983-85 he convicted over 100 people for emigration. Many lost property and families were affected by persecution. He should not be nominated,” he added.

Hilser told Echo24 that he had received the new information about Fremr from three different sources, and considers it credible. “I learned it on Friday. Together with Senator Marvanova Kordova, we wrote a personal letter to the president containing this information yesterday (Saturday) evening,” he added.

According to Hilser, Fremr signed verdicts against Czechoslovak citizens for travelling abroad. “People who participated in communist injustice in this way should not be promoted to the highest judicial positions. It will harm the perception of justice in our country,” he noted.

Kordova Marvanova said she had obtained the information from historian Petr Blazek and subsequently verified it at the Prague City Archives. “(The president) said in the Senate that if new facts were to emerge, he would perhaps reconsider the nomination. In our opinion, these are new facts, for me they are fundamental facts,” she told Echo24.cz.

“I respect the fact that the appointment of constitutional judges is a presidential power, the president makes the decisive step. The Senate only gives its consent,” the senator pointed out. She does not want to question this power of the president, she added.

In the 15-member team of constitutional judges, there is now a vacant post after the departure of judge Vladimir Sladecek, whose ten-year term ended on 4 June. The terms of office of Constitutional Court head Pavel Rychetsky and Ludvik David will end at the beginning of August. Fremr, Prague Municipal Court vice-chairwoman Veronika Krestanova and civil law professor Katerina Ronovska, whose nomination was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, are expected to take their places.


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