22/06/2021 – The OECD Working Group on Bribery is concerned about the recent announcement of the resignation of the Czech Republic’s chief prosecutor, after ten years of service, following alleged disagreements with the Minister of Justice.
On 14 May 2021, the chief prosecutor announced his resignation at a press conference where he alluded to pressures from the Minister of Justice. The resignation comes a month after the chief prosecutor made a public statement regarding an ongoing investigation, with media reporting that the Minister of Justice had plans to submit a disciplinary lawsuit against him based on this statement.
Allegations involving possible political interference in the work of the prosecutorial authority are particularly concerning given that the Czech Republic has consistently failed to adopt reforms to safeguard investigative and prosecutorial independence. The Working Group has been monitoring this issue since 2013, as it may affect the Czech Republic’s ability to meet its obligations under Article 5 of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. This Article prohibits considerations of national economic interest, the potential effect upon relations with another State or the identity of the natural or legal persons involved to influence foreign bribery investigations and prosecutions.
The Working Group will continue to monitor the situation and may consider further appropriate steps. The Czech Republic will provide an update to the Working Group on, among other things, the independence of prosecutors in June 2023.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD's Media Relations Division on (33) 1 45 24 97 00 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention in the Czech Republic and the OECD’s work to fight corruption, please visit www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/czechrepublic-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm and www.oecd.org/corruption-integrity/.