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Baťa’s heirs will turn to the Constitutional Court

THE DESCENDANTS of shoe manufacturer Jan Antonín Baťa, one of the wealthiest men in former Czechoslovakia, will file a complaint with the Constitutional Court. This comes as a response to the recent ruling of the Bratislava Regional Court concerning their claim of compensation for nationalised property.

THE DESCENDANTS of shoe manufacturer Jan Antonín Baťa, one of the wealthiest men in former Czechoslovakia, will file a complaint with the Constitutional Court. This comes as a response to the recent ruling of the Bratislava Regional Court concerning their claim of compensation for nationalised property.

On October 22 the Bratislava Regional Court overturned the verdict of the Bratislava I District Court issued last year. It annulled the 1947 ruling sentencing Baťa in absentia to 15 years in prison for his alleged cooperation with the Nazis. His property was then nationalised. Based on the district court ruling the Baťa family demanded compensation from the Slovak Finance Ministry. Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kažimír objected to the verdict and turned to the Bratislava Regional Court, the SITA newswire wrote.

The regional court also did not allow a proposal to restore the proceeding. The judges stated that the so-called Beneš Decrees, a series of laws drafted by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile in the absence of the Czechoslovak parliament during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II, are considered valid and are part of Slovak law, the TASR newswire wrote.

Moreover, the decrees say that only the court which issued the verdict on Baťa could permit the restoration of the proceeding. The court however no longer exists, TASR wrote.

Aside from the Constitutional Court, the family also considers turning to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the family’s lawyer Tomáš Pecina said, as reported by SITA.

The descendants insist that their rights to a fair trial and to access the court were violated. Therefore they request a dismissal of the ruling of the regional court and to restore the whole proceeding. In their motion to the Constitutional Court, they also pointed to media pressure and the unconcealed pressure of the Slovak government of judicial bodies, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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