Two Czechs who were detained in Cuba in March for causing a fight at Havana airport have been sentenced to eight months in prison, most of which they have already served. Zdeněk Tovara, 25, and Jaroslav Jiřík, 32, were arrested for public disorder, damaging property and resisting arrest. The two reportedly arrived at the airport intoxicated and reportedly caused damage to airport shops with a baseball bat after scuffling amongst themselves and shouting obscenities about the Cuban communist leadership. The men will be deported upon release in late November. The Czech consulate and defence attorneys said they were pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and attitude of the Cuban prosecutor’s office.
Police Thursday morning raided an office of the Ministry of Defence and arrested three ministry employees suspected of possessing and disseminating child pornography. The suspects were released after questioning but remain under investigation. Prague Police spokeswoman Iva Knolová said the arrests were a continuation of “Operation Vilma”, the largest operation against child pornography ever carried out in the Czech Republic, which resulted in 160 arrests and the confiscation of 350 computers during October. Possession of such material carries a sentence of two years incarceration, dissemination, six years.
Fire-fighters in the east of the Czech Republic were called out nearly two dozen times Wednesday night as rains flooded cellars around the region of Moravo-Silesia. River levels abated over the course of Thursday and there is no imminent risk of further flooding. Heavy flooding at the end of June in northern and central Moravia caused 14 deaths, hundreds of evacuations and more than 6 billion crowns in damages.
A prison escapee is dead and his wife severely injured after a shoot-out
with the police. The couple was hiding in a small village near Strakonice,
southern Bohemia. The 43-year-old man died on site while his wife was
severely injured; she was taken to a hospital in Plzeň in critical
condition though doctors say she is now out of danger. An autopsy carried
out on the man has reportedly revealed that his head wound was not caused
by a police weapon.
The safe-breaker and repeat offender was sentenced to five years earlier this month. His wife helped him escape during a trip to the hospital on Tuesday after she opened fire on his guards.
Czech President Václav Klaus has voiced concern over what he sees as a
growing perception of the Czech Army as an expeditionary force rather than
a national defence corps. Speaking at a meeting of army commanders on
Thursday, Mr Klaus said the organisation’s structure, outfitting and
traditions were beginning to correspond to that image, held both inside and
outside the army, to the detriment of its primary, domestic, role. The
president believes that the recent scandal involving Nazi symbols worn by
Czech soldiers in Afghanistan is a direct result of this popular conception
of the army as “the special units that we know from action films”.
Prime Minister Jan Fischer later said that there was no intention of the
Czech Army resigning on its current missions. Mr Klaus’ comments he said
were intended as a warning that the army view its duties comprehensively
and not focus solely on foreign missions.
The Czech head of state is also the commander in chief of the country’s armed forces. Czech soldiers are currently involved in larger-scale missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
A monument honouring Czechoslovak paratroopers from WWII was unveiled in
the Scottish town of Arisaig on Wednesday. Around 300 Czech and Slovak
members of the Czechoslovak army in exiled were trained in the area during
the war to be dropped in occupied Czechoslovakia. Those included Jozef
Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, who assassinated the acting Reichsprotektor, and
one of the highest-
ranking Nazis, Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942.
The granite statue, depicting a parachute after descent, was paid for by funds collected by the Czech honorary consul in Scotland, Paul Millar.
The Czech candidate for the new European commission, Štefan Füle, on
Wednesday outlined his preferences as to which portfolio he would like to
get. Mr Füle told the Chamber of Deputies’ European Affairs Committee
that the portfolios that could be considered included energy, enlargement,
regional policy, transport, environment and science and research. The Czech
candidate said that he would personally prefer the energy or enlargement
Mr Füle also rejected criticism by some MPs that his membership in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and studies at the KGB-controlled Moscow Institute of International Relations in the 1980s disqualified him for a high-profile job in the European Commission.
The European Commission on Wednesday urged the Czech Republic to avoid
excessive budget expenditures in the coming years. The commission also set
down the year 2013 as a benchmark for the Czech Republic to lower its
budget deficit to three percent of the gross domestic product. The European
Commission warned that if Prague fails to do so, it might face sanctions.
The Czech Finance Minister, Eduard Janota, said that the recommendation was an unambiguous message to Czech politicians to take fiscal issues seriously. This year, the state budget deficit is expected to reach some 163 billion crowns, which is about 5.3 percent of the country’s GDP.
The Teaching Hospital Královské Vinohrady in Prague introduced extraordinary measures on Wednesday after a doctor and two nurses at the hospital’s haematological ward got infected with the H1N1 virus from a patient. Two other patients got infected as well. Due to the infection, the hospital follows an anti-epidemic regime and the haematological ward only accepts patients in severe condition.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”