A court in Brno put two local politicians in jail on Saturday on corruption charges. Although no specific names were released, the prosecutors had confirmed that the mayor of the Brno’s Žabovřesky municipality, Civic Democrat Aleš Kvapil, as well as Roman Novotný, also a member of the Civic Democrats, were arrested on Thursday for alleged corruption. The men face charges for demanding a bribe from a construction firm which was planning to build a hotel in the neighbourhood. The mayor reportedly asked for a bribe of four million crowns, or more than 200,000 US dollars, to issue the necessary permits. The firm then reported the incident to the police. If convicted, the men are facing up to 12 years in prison.
Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová beat second seed Flavia Penetta of Italy 4:6, 6:3 and 6:4 in the semi-final of the Open GDF Suez in Paris on Saturday. In Sunday’s final, she will face the winner of the other semi-final – top seed Jelena Dementeva of Russia, or the American Melanie Oudin. The 24-year-old Czech lost the first set but managed to come with exact hits from the base line in the second. In the third set, she won a break point at 4:4 to beat the Italian.
The Czech transportation minister, Gustáv Slamečka, told the daily Právo on Saturday that the police should tolerate drivers with residual alcohol blood content of up to 0.025 percent. At the same time, Mr Slamečka said the Czech Republic should keep pursuing the zero tolerance policy to drunk driving. Some leading Czech politicians have questioned the current practice of the police which as of January give a breathalyzer test to every driver they pull over. According to statistics, only 82 more drivers were caught drunk compared to the same month previous year. In 2009, drunk drivers in the Czech Republic caused more than 5700 accidents, with 123 casualties.
The Czech police temporarily reinstated border controls on the frontier
with Germany on Saturday in relation to a planned neo-Nazi march in
Dresden. The police checked vehicles at ten Czech-German border crossings
as well as passengers on Germany-bound international trains. Several dozen
police and customs officers took part in the operation, a police
Meanwhile, thousands of anti neo-Nazi protesters, including the Czech minister for human rights and minorities, Michael Kocáb, prevented the extremists from marching through the city of Dresden on Saturday. Around 4,000 right-wing extremists gathered in the city to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Allied bombing of Dresden during which an estimated 25,000 people died, most of them civilians.
The Vatican appointed Dominik Duka the new archbishop of Prague, church
officials said on Saturday. Dominik Duka, the current bishop of the Hradec
Králové diocese, will succeed Cardinal Miloslav Vlk as the head of the
Czech Roman Catholic Church. The new, 36th archbishop of Prague will
his office within two months, the archbishopric said. Cardinal Vlk, who is
77, filed for retirement in 2007 but the Holy See only accepted his
resignation three years later. The newly appointed archbishop of Prague
said his priorities included the finalization of church property
restitution as well as the adoption of an international treaty between the
Czech Republic and the Vatican.
Dominik Duka, who is 67, is a member of the Dominican Order. As a priest, he was persecuted by the communist regime and jailed for two years in the 1980s. He became the bishop of Hradec Králové in 1998.
Ahead of the Winter Olympic Games’ opening ceremony in Vancouver, all four Czech ski jumpers qualified on Friday for the normal hill event. Jakub Janda finished second, Antonín Hájek came in fourth, Roman Koudelka ended 15th and Lukáš Hlava 47th. The first medal event gets underway on Saturday. The Czech Team’s ski jumping coach said the team met the first goal by qualifying, while the best Czech Jakub Janda said he hoped to do even better in the upcoming contest.
Scientists from the medical school of Palacký University in Olomouc, Moravia, say they found a cure for stuttering, the daily Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Saturday. The scientists found out that the speech disorder is caused by an obstruction in the lungs which can be removed by relaxing the respiratory tract. Medical school’s Josef Pešák said this can be achieved by inhaling a drug called Formoterol. Some 60 million people around the world suffer from stuttering; experts assume their number has increased by one third over the last two decades.
Doctors in the hospital in Ivančice, south Moravia, accidentally left a 28-cm (11 in) long surgical instrument in a woman’s body for five months, the TV station Prima reported on Saturday. The woman underwent an operation in the hospital last October. She then complained about terrible pain but the hospital refused to do an additional x-ray so as not to expose her to unnecessary radiation. When they finally re-operated on her last week, they found the instrument in her abdomen. The hospital’s head doctor said he was shocked to find out but blamed the incident on the surgical department’s perioperative nurses. The patient is reportedly going to file a lawsuit and demand compensation.
Former Social Democrat prime minister Miloš Zeman was elected on Saturday
the election leader of his new party the Citizens’ Rights Party, in the
Ústí region in northern Bohemia. In the general elections, scheduled for
May 2010, he will challenge, among other politicians, the current Social
Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek.
The Citizens’ Rights Party formed last year around Miloš Zeman as a split from Social Democrats. Mr Zeman retired from politics after serving as the prime minister between 1998 and 2002. A year later, he lost his bid to presidency to Václav Klaus.
The European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg is looking into the case of Ludmila Brožová-Polednová, her attorney told the daily Právo on Saturday, saying he received a letter from the judges in Strasbourg. The 88-year-old former communist prosecutor was sentenced to six years in prison in 2009 for the judicial murder of Milada Horáková, a politician executed by the communist regime in 1950 after a show trial. Ms Brožová-Polednová, who has served one year from her sentence, claimed she couldn’t serve the sentence for lack of medical care in the prison, and filed a complaint with the Strasbourg court.
Collapse of Prague footbridge raises concerns regarding state of other bridges
Some like it hot: Czech Republic sees rise in number of household saunas
ANO leader Andrej Babiš appointed Czech prime minister
Czech wage rises continue apace, low earners seeing larger increases
Czech protesters run out of patience as Prague brutalist building faces demolition