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The 'President pockets pen' scandal

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The 'President pockets pen' scandal

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Pictures of Czech President Vaclav Klaus apparently pocketing a ceremonial pen on a visit to Chile are causing a sensation on the internet.

A now widely-viewed video shows Klaus admiring the pen during a news conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, then holding it under the table where he appears to put it in his pocket.

Czech presidential spokesman Radim Ochvat said Klaus had a right to take the pen, which presidents and their delegations get on state visits.

“We at the Prague Castle always give such a pen to delegations, along with a notepad,” he said.

Klaus, 69, was quoted by the Novinky.cz news site as saying it was “standard to take a pen from an event,” stressing it was no golden pen but a ballpoint.