Former state prosecutor Ludmila Brožová-Polednová, the oldest prisoner in the Czech Republic, will serve out the remainder of her eight-year sentence, the District Court of Hradec Králové has announced. The ruling cannot be further appealed. 87-year-old Mrs. Brožová-Polednová, who is currently suffering from a broken rib among other ailments, has appealed for the suspension of her sentence on health grounds, saying she cannot be effectively treated in prison. In 2007, Mrs. Brožová-Polednová was convicted for her participation in the 1950 show-trial by which democratic politician Milada Horáková was sentenced to death for conspiracy and treason.
Hard rock musician Aleš Brichta will not be investigated for dissemination of hate speech, police have stated. Mr Brichta came under fire recently for lyrics viewed as racist in the title track of his album Deratizér (exterminator). The lyrics in question referred to “politicians making idiots of everyone, gypsies stealing bicycles in the street, something should be done by an exterminator”. Mr Brichta denied any racist intent, saying the song’s protest was aimed at politicians.
Emergency rescue services in the Region of South Moravia held a large-scale drill on Thursday, involving hundreds of police, paramedics and firemen. The drill simulated a multi-vehicle pile-up on the Czech Republic’s main east-west motorway, the D1, in which dozens of people took part as casualties. Traffic on the D1 was purposely slowed during the exercise due to concern that the drill could distract rivers and cause real accidents. In addition to field-testing the readiness of the regions rescue services, the exercise was also intended to test the capacity of the region’s sole trauma centre.
The anti-corruption unit of the Czech military police is being scrapped within extensive cost-cutting measures in the armed forces. The unit is to end its work on October 1st with many of its top experts leaving the armed forces. Its duties will be transferred to another department. The decision has been criticized by the former defense minister Vlasta Parkanová and there is speculation that the unit is being scrapped because it was too uncompromising in its work. The daily Mladá fronta Dnes notes that not long ago the unit uncovered extensive fraud involving 50 top military officers.
The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is to visit Prague in September where he will attend a conference on democracy and human rights in Asia organized by the foundation Forum 2,000. The Dalai Lama is a close friend of the former Czech president Václav Havel and has visited Prague eight times at his invitation. He was last here in 2008 on the first leg of a European tour.
A group of Eurosceptic senators who are vehemently opposed to the Lisbon treaty have found a new way of attacking it in court. They are preparing to question the validity of a recently adopted law that is to prevent the transfer of national powers to the EU without Parliament's consent on the grounds that it was not approved by a constitutional majority. The law was approved by both houses of Parliament and was decisive in winning support for the Lisbon treaty. Legal experts have made it clear that the senators would have little success in attacking the treaty itself. The Lisbon treaty still has to be signed by President Klaus who has said he will delay the process for as long as possible.
Barbora Špotáková came second in the javelin at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Tuesday night. The defending champion finished behind the home favourite Steffi Nerius, whose throw of 67.30 metres was 88 centimetres further than the Czech athlete’s best effort. Špotáková, who is 28, is currently Olympic javelin champion and holds the women’s world record in the sport, 72.28 metres.
The Czech government will close down six of the thirteen Euro-centres currently operating in the country within extensive cost-cutting measures. The centres provided information to people in the regions about study and work opportunities in the 27-member block and about available subsidies from EU funds. The branches of the Europe Direct information network whose activities are subsidized by the EU will continue to function in the country.
Aviation giant Air France-KLM, Europe’s biggest airline, has dropped its bid to buy the Czech state carrier Czech Airlines, leaving just one Czech bidder in the running. Air France-KLM confirmed the news on Wednesday, saying that the current economic environment was behind its decision. The Czech Republic announced a tender in February offering its entire 91.5 percent stake in the airline. The French-based giant’s withdrawal leaves only the Czech company Unimex group in the running. A final decision is expected by September 30.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
Czech Republic bracing for wind storm Sabine
Ron Perlman: Cinema is a much bigger art-form than superhero movies represent
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery