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Thousands of Czechs call on justice minister to resign

May 6, 2019
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Protesters gather at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, May 6, 2019. Czechs rallied in Prague for the second time in a week to demand the resignation of the new justice minister. 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 wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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Protesters gather at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, May 6, 2019. Czechs rallied in Prague for the second time in a week to demand the resignation of the new justice minister. 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 wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

PRAGUE (AP) — Thousands of Czechs are rallying in Prague again to demand the resignation of the new justice minister.

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 wrongdoing.

The justice minister has significant control over the prosecution. Marie Benesova was appointed to the post Tuesday. She’s a lawyer and adviser to President Milos Zeman, Babis’ close ally. Zeman has repeatedly criticized the prosecution.

As a lawmaker, Benesova voted against a police request to strip Babis of parliamentary immunity to face investigation. The protesters, who also rallied last week, and the opposition say Benesova might try to influence his case.

Benesova denies any such intention.

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