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Originally published Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM

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Former Czech chancellor Ivan Medek dies at 84

Ivan Medek, who served as chancellor under Czech President Vaclav Havel, has died. He was 84.

The Associated Press

PRAGUE —

Ivan Medek, who served as chancellor under Czech President Vaclav Havel, has died. He was 84.

Medek's wife Helena told the CTK news agency that Medek died Wednesday in Prague "of diseases and old age."

Born in Prague July 13, 1925, Medek was also a classical music critic and journalist. In 1978, communist persecution forced him into exile in Austria, where he worked for the Voice of America, focusing his reports on anti-communist activities in Czechoslovakia.

Medek signed the Charter 77 human rights manifesto inspired by Havel, then a dissident playwright who became president of Czechoslovakia and, later, the Czech Republic.

Havel, with whom Medek worked closely, mourned his death Wednesday, saying he held Medek "in high esteem."

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