Film footage from the 1952 show trial of Rudolf Slánský has been
discovered. The head of the National Film Archive, Michal Bregant, said
that the valuable materials had turned up in the Central Bohemian factory
building of a company that had gone bankrupt. There had been speculation
that such footage existed for several decades.
The film was found in a series of boxes by an insolvency administrator, who handed them over to the NFA.
Slánský, who had been general secretary of the Communist Party, was convicted along with several others on trumped up conspiracy charges. He and 10 others were hanged in Prague in December 1952.
The Czech Republic ranks among states with a relatively high number of
prisoners, says an international study based on data from 2016 released on
Tuesday. According to the latest Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics,
the country had 213 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants the year before last.
This places the Czech Republic in a similar bracket to such states as Albania (205 per 100,000), the Baltic States (up to 245 per 100,000) and the rest of the former Soviet bloc.
Western European countries typically have less than 100 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants.
The Czech Republic also ranks among 13 countries judged to have overcrowded correctional facilities in the Council of Europe report.
The Czech Republic is insisting on the extradition of crime boss Radovan
Krejčíř from South Africa. The Ministry of Justice told the Czech News
Agency that the country had issued several international warrants for the
arrest of Mr. Krejčíř on crimes committed in the Czech Republic and that
it regarded his return as being in the public interest.
Mr. Krejčíř is serving a 35-year jail term in South Africa for drug running and attempted murder. A local court ruled on Friday that he could be extradited to his native country. However, the South African minister of justice will have the final say on the question.
The notorious gangster fled the Czech Republic in 2005 after escaping during a police search of his home.
The Prague authorities are to simulate a shooting incident in an exercise
at the city centre Muzeum Metro station. Councillors on Tuesday approved
the security training, which is dubbed Muzeum 2018 and will take place
during the night hours on June 20.
Officials said the aim of the exercise was to test out units of the
city’s integrated rescue services that would be called out if such a
crisis situation occurred in the capital.
Councillors have also given the green light for anti-flood training exercises in the districts of Karlin and Libeň in September.
The Chinese group CEFC, which has investments in the Czech Republic, is to
be partially nationalised, Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday.
Chinese officials have confirmed the arrest of CEFC’s founder Ye
Jianming, who is listed as an advisor to Czech President Miloš Zeman, the
Mr. Ye’s share in the European part of CEFC is reportedly being acquired by Chinese state-owned firm CITIC Group. This means Beijing would co-control investments in the Czech Republic’s Slavia Football Club and brewers Pivovary Lobkowicz.
The situation has put a halt to CEFC’s planned acquisition of half of J&T Finance Group, a Prague-based banking group. The deal was unveiled in 2016 in the presence of Mr. Zeman and China’s president, Xi Jinping.
State attorney Petr Jirát has recommended a jail term of eight or nine
years for David Rath and the seizure of all of the ex-politician’s
property. Mr. Jirát called on Tuesday for the same punishment for ex-MP
Petr Kott and his wife Kateřina for their part in a case centred on the
alleged abuse of public tenders.
Mr. Rath was found guilty of bribe-taking in 2015 but was freed by an appeals court which ruled that wiretaps used to convict him were not admissible. Another court subsequently said such recordings could be used as evidence.
A one-time health minister and regional governor, Mr. Rath was originally sentenced to eight and a half years for allegedly taking kickbacks to rig public contracts.
Failed presidential candidate Jiří Drahoš is to form a new association
named Together for Czechia, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. Mr. Drahoš told
the news site that it would be an open and apolitical group. He had already
announced plans to stand in the Prague 4 constituency in Senate elections
Mr. Drahoš said Czechs wanted to have more engagement in politics than voting “once every five years”. He said Together for Czechia aimed to show there was more to the state than strange Mafiosi.
The former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who had no previous political experience, was beaten in a run-off by incumbent Miloš Zeman in presidential elections in January.
The last male northern white rhino in the world has died leaving only two
females left to save the species from extinction. The 45-year-old rhino
named Sudan had been in poor health in recent weeks and was being treated
for multiple infections.
A veterinary team made the decision to put down the rhino after his condition deteriorated significantly, the conservation group WildAid confirmed on Tuesday. Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and was surrounded by armed guards.
The male rhino (along with the two females that survive) belonged to ZOO Dvůr Králové in the Czech Republic which has put significant effort into trying to save the species.
The winner of two Olympic medals at Pyeongchang and holder of the crystal
globe in the women's snowboard giant parallel slalom Ester Ledecká
has received the key of the city of Prague from Mayor Adriana Krnáčová.
At a press conference on Monday, the snowboarder and skier reflected on a
perfect season - which included her surprise win in the super-G at the
Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Ledecká was stunned when she was congratulated in a video message by 58-year-old Canadian singer Bryan Adams - the author of hits such as Summer of '69 and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - exclaiming 'Oh my God!'. The snowboarder/skier already has a guitar signed by the Canadian star. She requested a copy of the video, to watch over again.