Man who tried to auction Czech president’s hip joint pardoned

August 29th, 2008 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Prague, Aug 29 (DPA) Czech President Vaclav Klaus has pardoned a man who tried to sell in an online auction a hip joint he claimed was the president’s.The bones were offered for a minimum of 35,000 koruny ($2,100) in June, nearly a month after Klaus underwent hip replacement surgery.

The website quickly removed the offer by Premysl Donat, a 54-year-old lawyer, who also makes products for the blind.

The Prague hospital where Klaus underwent the operation insisted it had properly disposed of the joint, prompting police to launch an investigation into the seller for attempted fraud, an offence punishable by up to three years in prison.

But Klaus Thursday pardoned Donat, who claimed to have bought the joint from a hospital employee, before prosecution began, the president’s office said.

The family “were surprised” by the president’s move but declined to shed light on the obscure sale, Donat’s son told DPA.

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