Former communist Biľak could be pardoned


Vasil Biľak, the former secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party central committee, is apparently included under the list of individuals who were pardoned by new Slovak President Rudolf Schuster.

The seventh article of Schuster's July 14 amnesties states that "the amnesty applies to all accused persons older than 65 years." According to General prosecutor Milan Hanzel, this would protect Bilák, who is 83 years old.

Bilák is accused of capital treason under paragraph 91 of the Criminal Code, said Hanzel. Bilák is alleged to have been one of the drafters of "the letters of invitation" which alerted Warsaw pact troops to Czechoslovakia's "socialism with a human face" movement and then "invited" the troops to the country in August, 1968. The letters resulted in the infamous Prague Spring, which saw the socialist reform movement crushed by tanks.

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