Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek has apparently given conflicting
explanations as to the origin of half a million crowns which he is
accused of having taken as a bribe. Police suspect the Christian
Democrats leader of receiving the money from a building company when he
was mayor of the town of Vsetin. In recent days Senator Cunek has said
the money represented family savings. But police say that during
earlier questioning he said he had forgotten where he got the money.
The Senate's immunity committee has recommended that Mr Cunek be stripped of his parliamentary immunity to allow criminal proceedings against him to begin. A final decision will be made in about two weeks' time.
The United States has asked the Czech government if it can locate a planned radar base in the Brdy military zone in central Bohemia. One other location had been under consideration, Libava in north Moravia. The radar would be part of the United States' global missile defence programme. If approved by the Czech parliament, the radar base should house around 200 US soldiers and civilians and go into operation in 2011.
Flights from Prague's Ruzyne airport resumed at 9 a.m. on Thursday. The
airport had been closed for almost 30 hours due to heavy snows. The
closure forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights, stranding
thousands of passengers.
The heavy snows also caused a marked increase in road accidents; there were over 1,100 accidents on Wednesday, more than twice the usual number, police said.
Firefighters have issued a warning against falling icicles. They have removed dangerous icicles at scores of locations in Prague alone. Ambulance crews, meanwhile, say they have been called out to deal with dozens of injuries caused by people slipping on snow and ice.
Former orderly Petr Zelenka may have killed up to five more patients than previously believed at a hospital in Havlickuv Brod, according to a Health Ministry expert commission. Zelenka has been charged with using a blood-thinning drug to kill eight patients, but Health Minister Tomas Julinek said the real number of victims could be up to 13.
Senator Vaclav Jehlicka has accepted an offer to become culture minister. His party the Christian Democrats turned to Mr Jehlicka after its previous nominee Helena Trestikova resigned from the post on Wednesday, just over two weeks after being appointed. She said Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek had tried to pressure her into appointing a deputy of his choosing.
Minister of Culture, Helena Trestikova has resigned from her post just days after taking office. Ms Trestikova announced her resignation in a letter to Czech Television. She had previously stated that she was unhappy at being pressurised by Civic Democrat Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to appoint a deputy of his choosing. Filmmaker Ms. Trestikova had been nominated as Minister of Culture by the Christian Democrats, one of the smaller coalition parties in the new administration.