Court orders state to apologize for Zeman's lies
The state must apologize for false statements President Milos Zeman made about his former advisor Zdenek Sharapatko.
In November 2017, the president said on TV Barrandov that he fired Sharapatka due to incompetence. However, that was not true. Sharapatka resigned after losing confidence in the president over the Operation Olovo scandal.
The Ministry of Finance must apologize for Zeman’s statement because the head of state has immunity.
The president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček described the court’s decision as a Pyrrhic victory.
The ministry must send a registered letter of apology to Sharapat within seven days of the judgment. The Ministry of Finance will consider submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court after receiving a written copy of the decision.
Sharapatka welcomed the verdict of the court. “I am very pleased that the Court of Appeal confirmed that the President of the Republic, Milos Zeman, must not lie foolishly, must not offend the citizens of the Czech Republic and must comply with the Constitution and laws of the Czech Republic,” he said.
Zeman has sued several times for his statements. For example, in 2007, Zeman was ordered to apologize to journalist Ivan Brezin for saying he wrote articles supporting the completion of the Temelín nuclear power plant in exchange for payment. In 2000, Zeman apologized to former fellow Jozef Wagner for saying that even after his expulsion from the CSSD, Communist deputies didn’t trust him either. In June 2000, Zeman published an apology to ODS deputy chairman Miroslav Mack over false statements.