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Caught red-handed on YouTube, Czech president steals pen

Czech media have latched onto a YouTube video of their president at a press conference in Chile appearing to take a ceremonial pen from the table in front of him, prompting some Internet users to cry thief.

YouTube video showing Klaus pocketing the pen

The YouTube clip has attracted over a million viewers

A viral YouTube video of Czech President Vaclav Klaus discreetly pocketing a ceremonial pen at a press conference in Chile has prompted Internet users and Czech media to brand him a thief.

As Chilean President Sebastian Pinera gives an enthusiastic welcome to the Czech delegation, Klaus admires the pen, then holds it in his hand under the table and appears to put it in his pocket.

The video - a clip from a report by Czech public television broadcast on Sunday - gained more than a million views on Youtube by Wednesday afternoon after newspapers made it front-page news on Tuesday.

The pen was used by the Czech foreign minister to sign a transport agreement. Ceremonial pens are typically given to the visitor during such diplomatic meetings, but Internet users were branding Klaus as a thief.

"We at the Prague Castle always give such a pen to delegations, along with a notepad," said presidential spokesman Radim Ochvat.

The video inspired a tongue-in-cheek Facebook campaign, calling on participants to send pens to the president's office on May 2, "as the president obviously has nothing to write with."

Author: Andrew Bowen (AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Michael Lawton

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