Thousands of Czechs are rallying in Prague and elsewhere to protest the proposed replacement of the justice minister.

The protesters said Monday that might compromise the legal system at a time when prosecutors have to decide whether to indict Prime Minister Andrej Babis over alleged fraud involving European Union funds.

Babis denies wrongdoing.

Thousands of people take part in a march in the centre of Prague, Monday April 29, 2019, to protest the proposed replacement of the justice minister. (Vit Simanek/CTK via AP)
Thousands of people take part in a march in the centre of Prague, Monday April 29, 2019, to protest the proposed replacement of the justice minister. (Vit Simanek/CTK via AP)

The justice minister has significant control over the prosecution. The minister to be appointed Tuesday is Marie Benesova, a lawyer and adviser to President Milos Zeman, Babis’ close ally. Zeman has repeatedly criticized the prosecution.

As a lawmaker, Benesova voted against a police request to strip Babis of parliamentary immunity to face investigation. The protesters and the opposition say Benesova might try to influence his case.

A union of judges also expressed doubts about the change.

Thousands of people take part in a march in the centre of Prague, Monday April 29, 2019, to protest the proposed replacement of the justice minister. (Vit Simanek/CTK via AP)
Thousands of people take part in a march in the centre of Prague, Monday April 29, 2019, to protest the proposed replacement of the justice minister. (Vit Simanek/CTK via AP)

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