Jana Nagyova (48), chief of staff and alleged lover of Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, has gone from loyal servant to femme fatale by wielding immense power that ultimately toppled her boss.
Indicted and arrested last week on charges of bribery and complicity in abuse of power for instructing military spies to tail Mr. Necas’ estranged wife Radka (47), she possessed government influence far beyond her job description. Seven senior officials and former lawmakers have also been charged in the corruption scandal, six of whom are in police custody along with her to keep them from influencing witnesses. She faces five years if convicted.
Police said Ms. Nagyova had “exerted pressure on Petr Necas to bring about the divorce from wife Radka”. “Her power is directly proportional to the weakness of Petr Necas,” wrote the weekly Reflex about her.
“When there wasn’t room for her in a carriage taking the Prime Minister to the opening of a farming exhibition, everyone had to walk,” the weekly added in February, citing a source close to the government. Czech media have long speculated that Mr. Necas and Ms. Nagyova had become romantically involved.
Having been Mr. Necas’ chief of staff when he was Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in 2006-09, she followed him to the Premier’s office in July 2010. “What has bothered her most since she was arrested is the fact that police have heard her intimate phone calls,” her lawyer Eduard Bruna told the Pravo daily on Monday.
“The detectives know that they have an intimate relationship.”
He had also told the the novinky.cz website that “she had acted in good faith” by wanting to protect the Premier and his wife from scandal. Mr. Necas’ wife “allegedly got in touch with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and began to raise money for gifts”.
“And since Ms Nagyova didn’t like it and thought it would be good to monitor, she requested surveillance.”
Mr. Necas had said last week he was getting a divorce after announcing in January the couple had separated.
“She was not legitimately elected, she has no political responsibility, and yet I paid dear for having fallen out of favour with her,” Michal Doktor, a lawmaker who broke ranks with Mr. Necas’ Civic Democrats in 2011, told Reflex .
She first made headlines early last year for receiving hefty bonuses from Mr. Necas, who sparked giggles when he explained that “she works like a horse”. A regular at Prague’s poshest boutiques, Ms. Nagyova can rely on her family to stick with her through thick and thin.
Her daughters Nikola and Stepanka posted photos to Facebook on Friday wearing T-shirts that expressed their support: “Love my mum!” — AFP