Czech PM steps down after bribery scandal

Czech PM steps down after bribery scandal

Czech PM steps down after bribery scandal

Czech PM Necas decided to quit after the prosecutors charged his aide. REUTERS photo

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas was forced to quit on June 16 by a graft and spying scandal involving his closest aide.

Necas quit days after prosecutors charged the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, alleged lover, with bribing members of Parliament and ordering intelligence agents to spy on people.

The scandal has a personal element for the prime minister: one of the surveillance targets, according to lawyers involved in the case, was the prime minister’s own wife, Radka. The two are filing for divorce. Necas has said he knew nothing about the surveillance, but the charges were so toxic that his coalition partners signaled they could no longer support him.

“I will resign as prime minister tomorrow (June 17),” Necas told a news conference. The massive graft scandal erupted last week when police raided the cabinet office, Defense Ministry, villas and a bank in a dramatic swoop which turned up large stashes of cash and gold. Last year, corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked the Czech Republic as worse than Costa Rica and Rwanda in terms of graft prevalence.

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.