Riot police were called in to break up a house party organised on Facebook in the north-eastern town of Orlová on Wednesday night after hundreds of people showed up. When neighbours alerted the police over noise and public disorder in the street, the woman who advertised the party said that it had got out of control; however, dozens of people attacked the police officers and a riot squad had to be called in to disperse the party-goers. Five officers were injured in the incident while five people were arrested, a police spokeswoman said.
Czech hockey player František Kaberle, a five-time world champion and a Stanley Cup winner, has ended his career. The 38-year-old defenceman, who in the last season played for HC Plzeň in the Czech top division, said a series of minor injuries prevented him from getting fully into training. In the NHL, Kaberle played for the Atlanta Thrashers, the Los Angeles Kings and the Carolina Hurricanes with whom he won the Stanley Cup before returning to the Czech Republic in 2009. As part of the Czech national team, František Kaberle also won a bronze medal at the 2006 winter Olympics in Torino.
The condition of Czech skier Šárka Záhrobská, who in July underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour, has improved, according to a report by the gossip website blesk.cz. The website said the 27-year-old skiing champion had resumed training and could be fit in time for the new season. Her agent said they were awaiting the latest test results. Šárka Záhrobská is scheduled to appear at a news conference on Saturday.
The fifth seed at the US Open, Petra Kvitová, has advanced to the third round. The left-handed Czech player, who is the only female player to reach three Grand Slam quarterfinals so far this year, was able to overpower France’s Alize Cornet in straight sets. The final score was 6:4, 6:3. Kvitová, last year’s Wimbledon and WTA Championships winner, will next face another French player Pauline Parmentier.
Petr Lessy was relieved of his duties as the president of the Czech Police
on Wednesday morning. Interior Minister Jan Kubice dismissed Mr Lessy from
the police force with immediate effect following the filing of criminal
charges against him. The General Inspectorate of Security Forces accused
the now former police chief of libel and abuse of public office. At a
conference later in the day, Mr Kubice cited a law that says a police
officer can be dismissed if he is accused of contemptible or possible
criminal behaviour which could threaten the good reputation of the
forces. Mr Lessy told the E15 news server that he considers the
to be nonsensical and is ready to defend himself. Mr Lessy will be
by his former deputy Martin Červíček, the government announced.
The slander charge is connected to statements Mr Lessy made more than half a year ago about the head of the Zlín regional police force Bedřich Koutný and his deputy Jaroslav Vaňek in relation to the so-called Tofl gang case. Interior Minister Jan Kubice has called on Mr Lessy to resign a number of times in the past. Chairman of the opposition Sovial Democrats, Bohuslav Sobotka, fiercely criticized the move, saying the dismissal is an attempt of the Civic Democrats and the TOP 09 party to curtail the independence of the police force.
The Public Affairs party MP Vít Bárta has filed an appeal of the April decision by the Prague 5 district court, on Tuesday. Judge Jan Šott gave Mr Bárta an eighteen-month suspended sentence for giving fellow party members hefty bribes in the form of interest-free loans in order to increase his influence. Bárta lodged his appeal to the Czech Supreme Court claiming that the court’s decision referred to events that took place in the parliament, where he has immunity as an MP. The appeal in the case of Jaroslav Škárka, who was originally one of Mr Bárta accusers and later became his co-defendant, is also currently under deliberation.
Czech President Václav Klaus has asked Prime Minister Petr Nečas to give a guarantee that the planned church property settlement will not breech the restitution limit of 25 February 1948. President Klaus said in a letter to the heads of the coalition parties that such a guarantee is necessary for him to sign the church restitution bill, that the coalition is planning to pass in the lower house, overriding an earlier Senate veto. The president wrote that he and many others are concerned that if the church settlement will pertain to property changes from before the communist take-over in 1948, it may set a dangerous precedent for the future, opening numerous cases from third parties that may potentially threaten state sovereignty.
A Prague district court acquitted Martin Knetig, one-time advisor to the former Czech environment minister Pavel Drobil, of corruption charges on Tuesday. The state attorney appealed the verdict on the spot. Mr Knetig was accused of corruption after allegedly demanding a bribe from a bank officer in connection with depositing the State Environmental Fund’s money into a number of unspecified banks in 2010. Allegedly, Mr Knetig sought to collect money for the Civic Democratic Party. Pavel Drobil resigned as Environment Minister in December 2010 in relation to the same scandal.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas announced today that his cabinet is in favor of the Czech Senate’s proposal for a constitutional amendment that would divest members of both houses of parliament and the constitutional court judges of life-long immunity. The government had previously supported a similar proposal by a group of MPs. In both cases, cabinet members suggested that the new rules should apply to newly elected officials not to current ones. Both of the submitted proposals want to change the current practice according to which MPs or Senators cannot be tried for criminal offenses at any time, if a parliamentary committee confirms their immunity. The new proposal would give immunity to lawmakers and judges only for the duration of their term, if the lower or upper house do not retract their immunity.
Czech President Václav Klaus has expressed great concern over the dismissal of Police President Petr Lessy on Wednesday. Apparently, the president was not made aware of this crucial move, and the quick naming of Mr Lessy’s deputy Martin Červíček as replacement. President Klaus said in a statement that the interior minister’s decision “will destabilize not only the police force, but the whole of the Czech political sphere as well.” According to Interior Minister Jan Kubice, the Prime Minister Petr Nečas was also not informed of this move beforehand.
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