Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Czech papers awash in sex scandals.

First, Czech courts have ruled that there ain't nothing unseemly or "damaging" about hot models getting naked: Diana Kobzanova, Miss Czech Republic for 2001, was sued by the beauty pageant after pulling a Vanessa Williams, that is, after stripping for a porn mag. The organizers of the contest claim she's damaged the good name of the Miss contest (puh-leeze, what country do you think we're in?) and sued for a paltry CZK 750,000. Courts sided with the hottie, who prompted did a shot of slivovice.

Second, the choirmaster of the Bambini di Praga children's choir, Bohumil Kulinsky, has been charged with sexually abusing 49 girls over the course of 20 years. Exactly two of the girls reportedly "suffered a serious psychological damage." (What, the other 47 just giggled about it afterwards?) Somehow, while on tour with the choir, the creepy choirmaster lured the girls into the sauna and then groped and fondled them. He actually managed to have sex with two of them. The ages of the children in the choir range from 12 to 20, and although two of the girls (unclear if it's the same two) were over 15 at the time - that's the Czech age of consent for all you lily-white Americans out there - that doesn't seem to matter in this case; understandable, being a perverted choirmaster trumps the age-of-consert rule when the victim is a ward of the alleged perpetrator. Kulinsky, a conductor and choirmaster of some renown, has been called "ever theatrical but perfectly controlled" by The Los Angeles Times.

Finally, and most galling of all, is the case of Hamid Bin Abdul Sani al-Thani, a cousin of the Qatari Emir who was convicted in Czech court of sexually abusing young girls. (Sani's other girlfriends went out and found him underage whores.) Despite being found guilty, Sani was just released by the Czech Supreme Court at the request of Czech Justice Minister, Pavel Nemec - apparently for no other reason than the fact that he's a member of the Qatari ruling family.

Yes, ostensibly Sani could face a much longer sentence in his native land, where he's being extradicted. Yet considering his membership in the emirate's ruling family, and given that the convict himself was pressing to be extradicted, it's safe to say that's pretty unlikely. Reports in neither Radio Prague nor Czech Press Agency give any hint of the legal justification for the Supreme Court's decision (in most countries, courts are supposed to give reasons for their verdicts) although Radio Prague makes two imporant points: First, the case sets a precedent whereby the Justice Minister can overrule the Czech courts for political reasons, and second, according to some unnamed German lawyer, this sort of thing definitely isn't kosher in the EU.