Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Constitutional Court to deal with Czech-Liechtenstein dispute

ČTK |
11 July 2017

Brno, July 10 (CTK) - The Constitutional Court (US) will deal with a dispute between the Czech state and the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation about 600-hectare forests near Ricany in the vicinity of Prague, foundation media representative Michal Ruzicka has confirmed to CTK.

The foundation previously failed with its petition for an appellate review filed with the Supreme Court against the decisions by lower-level courts that had rejected its claims and ruled that the plots belonged to the state on the basis of the post-war Benes decrees.

The foundation failed a complaint with the US on Monday, Ruzicka said, adding that a number of new facts emerged in the case in the meantime.

The hlidaciPes.org server reported that Constantin, the Prince of Liechtenstein, would arrive in Prague over the dispute.

The foundation administering part of the Liechtenstein Family's property is prepared to turn to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if need be, the server said.

The Czech Republic, represented by the Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs (UZSVM), points out that Czech courts have repeatedly accepted its arguments. It refused to comment on possible transfer of the case to international courts.

"The Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs is obliged to defend the interests of the Czech Republic under law and and it has always done so. The courts' decision cannot be anticipated," the server quotes UZSVM spokeswoman Tereza Peprnikova as saying.

The foundation will give a press conference on its dispute with the Czech Republic on July 11 to inform the media about new facts in the case, Ruzicka said.

The vast property of the Liechtenstein family, including the UNESCO-listed complex of the Lednice and Valtice chateaux and park, south Moravia, was confiscated after WWII since the owner, Prince Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein, claimed his adherence to German ethnicity.

The Benes decrees provided for the confiscation of the property of collaborators, traitors, ethnic Germans and Hungarians, except for those who themselves suffered under the Nazis. They also formed a basis for the transfer of the former groups from Czechoslovakia.

In 2013, a district court met the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation's request and confirmed the entry in the land register saying the plots near Ricany were part of the Liechtenstein inheritance.

The UZSVM filed a legal complaint claiming the plots back. It argued that the foundation of current Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II had gained them as inheritance over a mistake in the land register.

Czech courts have so far always rejected the foundation's claims.

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