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Czech law, News

Is information about president’s health in a public interest?

A presidential election will be held in the Czech Republic on 12–13 January 2018, with a runoff to be held on 26–27 January 2018 if required. President Milos Zeman is standing for re-election. According to polls, president Zeman’s chances of re-election are considered high. However, his performances on a public occasions indicate that he is having serious health problems, among others movement – walking and this is a public concern and issue for the voters.

Mr. Bartik – local politician made at the beginning of November claim on social media (Facebook) that president was suffering terminal cancer and had only months to live. The Office of the President made a tweet that it is a false allegation and included this FB post. The information got public. Mr. Zeman’s spokesman described the allegation as a disgusting lie and referred to Mr. Bartik as human garbage. He said the Office of the President would file a criminal complaint for criminal defamation, will file defamation claim in a civil procedure and preliminary injunction. President also stated that he will be seeking damages of 5 million crowns for his electoral fund and an apology and publicly stated that Mr. Bartik is a swine.

As there is no more public information on the issue, information about the legal process will be provided as got public. If there is a court process, the court outcome will be very important on legal issues related to privacy v. public interest.

Related: https://czechdefamationlaw.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/the-czech-president-milos-zeman-to-be-sued-for-defamation-head-of-the-state-has-been-sued-indirectly-so-far-throw-the-state-liability/

About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights


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