Czech President Milos Zeman


Ministry To Represent State In Case Over Zeman’s Statements

Miloš Zeman

Prague, Aug 22 (CTK) – The Czech Finance Ministry will represent the state in the court dispute over President Milos Zeman’s statements about the late journalist Ferdinand Peroutka, the Prague 1 District court spokesperson has told CTK, while Czech Television said Zeman is an enjoined party to the case.


A new judge will deal with the case.


In his speech on the end of the Holocaust anniversary on January 27, 2015, Zeman said that Peroutka (1895-1978), a significant Czechoslovak journalist, headlined his article in his Pritomost magazine “Hitler is a Gentleman” in the 1930s.


He also ascribed the statement “If we cannot sing with angels, we have to howl with wolves” to Peroutka, though it eventually turned out that its author is Jan Stransky.


Peroutka’s granddaughter Terezie Kaslova filed a lawsuit against the state, of which the Presidential Office (KPR) is a representative.


She demanded an apology for Zeman’s statements about Peroutka.


The courts recognised her right to an apology for Zeman having presented Peroutka as the author of a “Hitler is a Gentleman” article.


On the other hand, the court said the KPR does not have to apologise for Zeman’s mistake concerning Stransky’s statement.


The Supreme Court (NS) later returned the case to the lower court for reappraisal.


The NS said a wrong law was applied to the case. It was not the KPR but another institution that was to represent the state in the dispute.


The KPR has never succeeded in finding the Zeman-mentioned article in Pritomnost, the magazine of which Peroutka was editor-in-chief in the inter-war period.


Historians say no such article exists.