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Pavel Zeman 'won't back down'

All that was missing at Pavel Zeman's press conference last Fri. was

Tom Petty singing, "You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I

won't back down." Zeman was in essence announcing that he was

throwing in the towel as the supreme state prosecutor because of

pressure from Justice Min. Marie Benešová, but he wanted to give

the impression of just the opposite: His resignation was supposed to

be seen as a courageous act of defiance. Ex-Dir. Robert Šlachta of the

ÚOOZ organized-crime unit pinpointed sometime in mid-2016 as

the moment of Zeman's first big capitulation. As Šlachta briefly ex-

plained on Czech TV on Fri. and wrote in greater detail in his book,

Zeman initially opposed the police reorganization of 2016 but then

reversed himself after Interior Min. Milan Chovanec explained to

him that he would be sacked unless he came on board. Šlachta said

that when he asked Zeman about this later, Zeman walked away in

silence. In calling a protest today, Million Moments for Democracy

said that Zeman quit but that it will not back down: It will not hand

over the justice system. To whom? From whom? It didn't say.


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