Tens of Thousands of Czech Protest, Demand Minister Quits

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the Czech capital Tuesday as demands intensified for the resignation of the new justice minister.

The event marked a fourth week of growing demonstrations since the sudden appointment of Marie Benesova as justice minister in April. Her nomination came one day after investigators recommended Prime Minister Andrej Babis should face criminal charges for European Union subsidies fraud.

She’s a lawyer and adviser to President Milos Zeman, Babis’ close ally. Zeman has repeatedly criticized prosecutors.

“We’ve had enough,” and “Shame,” the crowd chanted.

The populist billionaire insists the case is part of a plot by the country’s “elite” to force him from politics. He remains defiant in the face of the demonstrations.  Prosecutors, who can halt the case before it gets to court, have yet to decide on police recommendations delivered last month that Babis stand trial.

Benesova’s predecessor at the justice ministry resigned one day after the police wrapped up their investigation, sparking worries that political pressure might be involved.

Author: red

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