Prosecution of a former member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party continues

Prague, 4 May – The supervisory public prosecutor agrees with the criminal prosecution of the former top representative of Communist Czechoslovakia, Jan Fojtík (93), who was accused by police officers from the special Office for the Documentation and Investigation of Crimes of Communism (ÚDV) of complicity in the deaths and injuries of at least eight people on the Czechoslovak border. He is said to have done so by being a “leading party ideologue”, and as secretary and member of the presidency of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, he co-caused the death and injury of several persons who tried to cross the Czechoslovak border.

“In the first half of April, the public prosecutor rejected the defendant’s complaint against the resolution to initiate criminal proceedings, so the investigation of the person in question continues,” Jan Lelek, the head prosecutor from Prague 1, told Právo this week.

Fojtík continues to face two to ten years in prison for the crime of misusing the authority of a public official for not preventing the shooting of people fleeing the Czechoslovak Republic across the border. Lelek thinks that the future of the former member of the Communist Party leadership will be clear in a matter of months, even with regard to the outcome of the related case.

Former top representatives of the Communist regime, Miloš Jakeš, Lubomír Štrougal and Vratislav Vajnar, were accused of the same crime in November last year. However, the public prosecutor, unlike in Fojtík’s case, called a halt to their prosecution last September.

This is a result of the ongoing police proceedings which were opened in the Czech Republic in November 2019 in response to a detailed complaint filed by the Platform in September 2017.

To this day, no former politburo member has been sentenced for any crime committed during the dictatorship in former Czechoslovakia. However, several members of the politburo are still alive.


Czech Police prosecuting Communist Party ideologue Jan Fojtík for shooting at the borders before 1989

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