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News > Press Releases 2018 > Return of property seized by Communists

Return of property seized by Communists

26. 06. 2018

Nearly 30 years after the Velvet Revolution the Czech ombudsman still receives complaints regarding the return of the property confiscated by the Communist regime. In the past five years, deputy ombudsman Stanislav Krecek dealt with almost 150 of them, on average two a month.

Restitution, that is, the return of confiscated property only partly falls under the ombudsman's authority. The ombudsman can deal with the cases only if they concern land offices’ proceedings.

"The people who turn to us either disagree with the rejection of their restitution claim or they believe they can have some claim inherited from their ancestors," Krecek said and added: “The restitution claim must have been raised in time, which is no longer possible at present.”

In 2010, the ombudsman asked for the statistical figures on the unfinished restitution claims and realized that although the restitution process culminated between 1994 and 1996 (decision were made on 1.7 million hectares of land), a total of 553 cases were unfinished in 2010.

This year, the deputy ombudsman carried out an inquiry on his own initiation concerning possible delays in proceedings of the State Land Office. He found out that there were still almost 300 unfinished cases.

On July 1, the restitution process is to end. This means the eligible persons cannot receive alternative land for the agricultural land confiscated under the Communist regime. They are only to receive financial compensation. This relates to about 56,000 entities.

However, the Constitutional Court is yet to deal with this on the proposal by a group of senators to cancel a part of the law on the State Land Office.

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