All evidence suggests the police who detained controversial lobbyist Roman Janoušek after he ran over a woman while drunk and drove away from the scene treated the man, labeled “godfather” of the Prague chapter of the center-right Civic Democrats (ODS), with extraordinary lenience. An internal police review, however, has concluded the police in question did not fail to observe the law.
With 2.2‰ alcohol in his blood, Roman Janoušek failed to stop after crashing into a Volvo car on the morning of March 23. When the owner of the Volvo caught up with him, sitting in his Porsche four-wheel drive as he waited at ? light and stood in front of his car, Janoušek simply drove into her, knocking her down before driving away.
When police detained the entrepreneur several minutes later after he attempted to flee on foot into a park in Prague 4, they did not put him in handcuffs and allowed him to make numerous calls on his mobile phone. Once at a police station, Janoušek was questioned almost immediately, whereas according to standard practice suspects under the influence of drink and drugs are locked in a cell until they have sobered up before being questioned. This circumstance effectively invalidated his testimony given.
After being questioned Janoušek was controversially released without charge, though charges were formerly lodged against him several days later. He had refused to undergo a blood test.
“We finished the review with the conclusion that there are no suspicions that the police who intervened after Roman Janoušek’s crash committed a crime,” spokeswoman for the General Inspectorate of the Security Services (GIBS) Radka Sandorová told the news server iDnes.cz on Monday, but stressed that the review did not relate to the police’s own internal investigation.
A television crew that arrived at the scene where the police detained Janoušek shot footage of him speaking freely on his mobile and thanking police for their “informal approach.”
The inspection was ordered by Police President Petr Lessy,who at a press conference apologized for the police’s lenient handling of Janoušek. Lessy called upon chief of federal police for the Prague region, Martin Vondrášek, to resign over the incident. Vondrášek said he would wait for the outcome of the police review before making a decision on his future and initialized disciplinary proceedings against six police officers.
The investigation into Janoušek’s hit-and-run escapade has been transferred from the police in the Czech capital to the police department of the Hradec Králové region.