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Havel pardons terminally ill communist boss

Havel pardons terminally ill communist boss

Posted: September 18, 1996

By Honskusova, Katerina

Havel pardons

terminally ill

communist boss

Czech President Vaclav Havel pardoned Milan Vaclavik, Czechoslovakia's last communist-era defense minister Sept. 10 on the grounds of Vaclavik's terminal illness.

Vaclavik served as defense minister between 1985 and 1989. Havel initiated prosecution against him and several other leading former Communist Party functionaries shortly after he was elected to office in December 1989. The communist leaders were charged with the illegal arming of the Czechoslovak People's Militia, otherwise known as "the fist of the working class."

Vaclavik is the only one of the accused to be pardoned. Havel's decision was based on the justice minister's recommendation, which cited the man's incurable illness and age. None of the Czech newspapers specified the illness. Vaclavik is 68 years old.

By Honskusova, Katerina

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