Sunday, November 15, 2015

Princely Family Loses Court Case Against Czech Republic

A bit of interesting news coming out of the Czech Republic this week: The Princely Family has lost a court case against the Czech state. According to the decision by a local court, the Princely Family has no right to 600-hectare plots of land near Říčany located about 20 kilometres from the centre of Prague. The Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation gained the lands through inheritance, after a mistake in the land register.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
After the end of the Second World War, the Princely Family had lost all their Czechoslovakian properties - including 17 castles and 1.600 square kilometres of agricultural and forest land, about two percent of the size of the Czech Republic - on the basis of the Beneš decrees. (The series of laws stripped Germans - everyone who spoke German was considered German - and Hungarians off their properties.) About three years ago the Princely Family learned that Prince Franz Josef II was still registered as the owner of almost 100 plots of land near Říčany, and so they applied for inheritance. A district court approved their claim and the plots were subsequently transferred to the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation in the land register.

After the family had wanted to employ the Lesy ČR state forestry company to administer the land, the Czech state filed a lawsuit against the the Foundation as they believed the transferal of the land to the Princely Family to be unlawful. This week, a local court decided in favour of the Czech state. According to the Prague Post, "judge Klara Obrtlíková admitted that the state had wronged the Liechtenstein family, but she said if the property remained in the foundation’s hands, it would violate the restitution laws."

A spokesman for the Liechtenstein family said, “Prince Hans-Adam II never wanted to take the Czech Republic to court to demand the return of the real estate that was confiscated from his family in the 20th century. The foundation is now only reacting to the situation by its defense in compliance with Czech law". He also added that the Prince of Liechtenstein foundation will appeal the verdict. 

More information at Prague Post

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