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Thousands of Czech protesters demand justice minister resign

May 21, 2019

PRAGUE (AP) — Tens of thousands Czechs are rallying in Prague as the protests demanding the resignation of the new justice minister intensify.

The protesters say the minister might compromise the legal system at a time when prosecutors have to decide whether to indict Prime Minister Andrej Babis over alleged fraud involving European Union funds.

Babis denies any wrongdoing.

The justice minister has significant control over prosecutors. The protesters are angry that Marie Benesova was appointed shortly after police recommended Babis’ indictment in April. As a lawmaker, Benesova voted against a police request to strip Babis of parliamentary immunity to face investigation. Protesters and opposition members say she might try to influence his case, a claim that Benesova denies.

After three previous protests packed Prague’s Old Town Square, the protests moved Tuesday to the city’s much-bigger Wenceslas Square.

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