Disciplinary action of Czech Bar Association against Klára Samková because of „cursing“ of Turkish Ambassador for his ignorance of Diplomatic protocol and law

CONTROL COUNCIL OF THE CZECH BAR ASSOCIATION, NÁRODNÍ TŘ. 16, 110 00 PRAGUE 1
K 142/2016
Disciplinary Commission
of the Czech Bar Association
– here-

Prague, 5.12.2016
Ref. 864/2016

DISCIPLINARY ACTION
As disciplinary petitioner and pursuant to the provisions of Section 33 paragraph 1, 2 of Act No 85/1996, on Advocacy, as amended, the Chairman of the Control Council of the Czech Bar Association (CBA) submits a disciplinary action against:

JUDr. Klára Alžběta SAMKOVÁ, Ph.D.,
a lawyer with registered law office in Španělská 742/6, Prague 2, ref. no. 3005,

in that
on 7 June 2016, from 19.00 to 21.00 hours, in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey at Na Ořechovce 733/69, Prague 6, at a citizens‘ meeting entitled „Public Reading“, at which was read, among other things, her speech dated 18 May 2016, which she had delivered in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, she delivered a speech directed against the Turkish Republic’s Ambassador when she said, „And since, Your Excellency, you do not understand diplomatic protocol, I will now do something now that you will understand: I curse you, I curse you, I curse you, you will die, you will die before you beget sons and you will die without honour.“

that is
• in the exercise of advocacy she failed to act in such a manner as not to diminish the dignity of the legal profession, when with this in mind she failed to observe the rules of professional ethics placing upon her
–        the obligation through generally fair, honest, and decent behaviour to contribute to the dignity and seriousness of the legal profession,

thereby breaching the
• provisions of Section 17 of the Act on Advocacy in conjunction with Article 4(1) of the Code of Ethics.

Justification:
The accused in these disciplinary proceedings (hereinafter in this text only: ‘the accused’) has since 1.1.1994 been registered as a lawyer in the list of lawyers maintained by the Czech Bar Association. She exercises advocacy as a partner of a limited liability company entitled ‘Advokátní kancelář Klára Samková s.r.o.’ [Law Office Klára Samková s.r.o.]
(see extracts from the registry as of 31 August 2016 on sheet Nos 1-2, as of 16 November 2016 on sheet Nos 17-20)

As a person known for her negative attitude towards Islam, the accused was invited on 18 May 2016 to the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic for a discussion morning entitled „Should we be afraid of Islam?“ in order to defend her views there. The lecture morning was held in a meeting room in the Chamber of Deputies, where about a hundred guests were present. The event was primarily intended for deputies, senators and guests invited by them.

Some diplomats from Islamic countries attended the morning lecture, although they were not the target group for whom the morning discussion was intended.

The accused had prepared a speech, the contents of which she had advised to the Deputy organising the event, who was very please with the lecture. To contribute to the smooth running of the event, the accused herself arranged to have her speech translated into English at her own expense.

After the accused had delivered a few sentences, the diplomats began to stand up, shouting out for her speech to be terminated immediately, and as far as the accused could see, waving their fists. Individuals among them shouted out that the accused was insulting Islam. The apparent leader of this group of Muslim diplomats was the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey. At the moment when the accused continued to deliver her speech, the Turkish Ambassador stood up in a demonstrative manner, and followed by the other diplomats from the Islamic countries, left the meeting room and then the Czech Chamber of Deputies building.

The accused is persuaded that the presence of these diplomats from Islamic countries was from the outset a planned and organised provocation, intended to limit any actual debate on the topic in question.
The Turkish Ambassador was subsequently invited to Czech Television where he was given space for about 15-20 minutes. For much of this broadcasting time he attacked the accused, and ultimately demanded that she be prosecuted.

The accused is of the opinion that the ambassador violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by interfering in the internal affairs of the host country. Although it was appropriate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to proceed according to standard diplomatic protocol after such an excess, this did not happen.The accused is persuaded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has quite shamefully neglected its legal obligations. The accused had absolutely no means of defending herself against this attack on her person, not even in the media, since was not offered any media time.

The situation that has thus arisen has outraged many citizens. Independently of the accused, an initiative was launched in which the organisers decided to once again read the accused’s speech directly in front of the Turkish Embassy.

On 7 June 2016, from 19.00 to 21.00 hours, a citizens‘ meeting entitled „Public Reading“ took place in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey at Na Ořechovce 733/69, Prague 6, at which was read, among other things, the accused’s speech dated 18 May 2016. The meeting was also attended by the accused, who felt offended by the aforementioned conduct of the Turkish Ambassador and his lack of willingness to communicate with her, either because he was unable to,  or was unwilling to communicate in a manner that is well established for Europeans and diplomats. The accused therefore decided to use a means of communication that from her own knowledge corresponds to his cultural setting. For this reason she used the following words to the ambassador: ,, And since, Your Excellency, you do not understand diplomatic protocol, I will now do something now that you will understand: I curse you, I curse you, I curse you, you will die, you will die before you beget sons and you will die without honour.

At this point it is necessary to point out that this conduct of the accused also received the attention of the media (see sheet No. 5 of Complaint File No 596/2016) and especially of the Czech Police, Area Directorate for Prague 1, Criminal Police and Investigations Branch (SKPV), which investigated the conduct of the accused as conduct suspected of having the characteristics of an offence under the section against civil co-existence pursuant to Section 49(1)(a) of the Act on Offences. By police notification dated 30.8.2016 (sheet No 3) delivered to the CBA on 31.8.2016, the case of the accused was handed over to the CBA for discussion and a ruling, in accordance with Section 58(3) of the Act on Offences. In this notification, the police reminded them that a lawyer is obliged to act in such a manner as not to diminish the dignity of the legal profession. According to this, the accused is reasonably suspected of the said offence and is therefore in violation of the Act on Advocacy.

The facts of the case as described above are derived from the notification of the Czech Police dated 30.8.2016 ref. KRPA-323986-3/ČJ-2016-001179 (sheets No 3-4) delivered to the CBA on 31.8.2016, from the annex to the notification – file No 5/A, from a statement of the accused dated 29.9.2016 (sheets No 8-14) delivered to the CBA on 30.9.2016, from the annex to the statement – speech at the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic dated 18.5.2016 on sheet No 15/A and also from the Complaint File No 596/2016, in particular from the extracts from the web pages on sheet No 5 provided to the disciplinary petitioner by the Head of the External Relations Department and CBA Press Spokesperson on 8.6.2016. The substantive content of these documents is quoted above.

The disciplinary petitioner considers that the conduct of the accused at the meeting of 7.6.2016, as described in detail in the statement part of this action, was such as to diminish the dignity of the legal profession, when the accused is generally well-known as a lawyer. The statements referred to were made in a place accessible to the public, where not only meeting participants could gather, but also other citizens, who need not necessarily have known that the meeting was summoned in response to the appearance of the accused in the Chamber of Deputies on 18.5.2016. Without knowledge of this context, the conduct of the accused could be viewed by the uninvolved public as conduct disturbing civil co-existence, when the Turkish Ambassador had his honour impugned and was insulted and submitted to ridicule.

Thus the disciplinary petitioner finds in the aforementioned conduct a serious violation of a lawyer’s obligation (Section 32(2) of the Act on Advocacy), as laid down in Section 17 of the Act on Advocacy in conjunction with Article 4(1) of the Code of Ethics.
For these reasons, this disciplinary action is lawfully served.
The disciplinary petitioner proposes that the following evidence be recorded in the disciplinary proceedings
–        complaint – by notification from the Czech Police dated 30.8.2016 ref. KRPA-323986-3/ČJ-2016-001179 (sheets No 3-4)
–        police file (sheet No 5/A)
–        statement of the accused dated 29.9.2016 (sheets No 8-14)
–        speech of the accused at the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic dated 18.5.2016  (ref. 15/A)
–        extracts from the registry (sheets No 1-2, 17-20)
–        complaint file No 596/2016, and in particular
o   extract from the web pages on sheet No 5
o   notification from the Head of the External Relations Department and CBA Press Spokesperson dated 8.6.2016 (3-4).

JUDr. Jan Mikš
Chairman of the CBA Control Council

(signature – unclear)

Czech Bar Association
Control Council
Národní tř. 16, 110 00 Prague 1

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