David Frum

02.28.13

Czech Republic's President Might be Tried for Treason

Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic (L) and his Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus inspect a honor guard on February 26, 2013 during their meeting in Bratislava. Klaus is on a two-day official visit to Slovakia. (SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/Getty Images) ()

This isn't a good way to end an administration that started amid so many hopes of normality and reform.

It was supposed to be a moment of quiet dignity as President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic steps down next week after two five-year terms as head of state. Instead, his presidency threatens to end in ignominy as his opponents try to press charges of high treason against him over his granting of amnesty to dozens of people accused of corruption. …

The Czech government has been buffeted in recent months by a series of corruption scandals that have threatened to bring it down. Corruption is so endemic that one industrious Czech started a corruption safari bus tour. Stops include a nonexistent house that 589 companies have registered as their headquarters.