State attorney Ivo Ištvan has dropped a request for the Chamber of
Deputies to lift former prime minister Petr Nečas’ immunity so as to
allow criminal proceedings to be taken against him in an alleged bribery
case. Mr Ištván, who is overseeing the case, said such
proceedings could not be taken against the former prime minister or
anybody else until the scope of parliamentary immunity was clearly
The move comes a day after the Supreme Court halted the prosecution of three former MPs charged in the same case. They faced corruption charges over a deal made last November; they were opposed to a government bill but agreed to quit their seats in the lower house in return for lucrative posts in state-run firms. Their arrest in June triggered the fall of the government. However, the Supreme Court said they were covered by parliamentary immunity at the time the alleged offence took place.
A bronze statue representing a soldier of the Red Army returned to Brno’s central Moravské náměstí square on Wednesday, after months of renovation. The statue, erected in 1955 in homage to Soviet troops which liberated the city at the end of WWII, caused controversy in 1993 when communist symbols along with Stalin’s military order were removed from the pedestal.
A 63-year-old man died of methanol poisoning in a hospital in Kladno on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the hospital has said. The man was admitted to hospital after he collapsed on Friday. The police believe the man probably became another victim of the methanol crisis which hit the Czech Republic last year when over 40 died after drinking tainted liquor.
President Miloš Zeman will next week hold talks with political parties represented in the lower house in an attempt to win their support for the interim cabinet. The caretaker government of Jiří Rusnok, appointed by the president last week, is bound to seek approval in the Chamber of Deputies in the coming weeks. However, most parties say they would not support the cabinet in a vote of confidence.
Czech university athletes won three gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, to finish 21st in the nations’ medal count. The Czechs won two competitions in judo and one in shooting. The host nation, Russia finished first with 155 gold medals, followed by China and Japan.
Czech MPs on Wednesday voted against the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament. If passed, the motion would have triggered early general elections within the next 60 days. 96 out of the 188 deputies present voted in favour, 92 against. The Social Democrats and Communists supported the motion; however, former coalition parties, the Civic Democrats, TOP 09 and LIDEM voted against. They argue they dispose of a majority in the lower house capable of producing a government, hoping the government of Jiří Rusnok will not win approval from the lower house, and President Zeman will then appoint a Civic Democrat to form the next cabinet.
A monument marking a synagogue destroyed during the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938 was unveiled in the north-eastern city of Opava on Wednesday. The object consists of two blocks of red granite, the colour of the synagogue’s façade, the author of the monument said. The Opava synagogue, built in the late 1800s, was set on fire by the Nazis during the so-called Night of Broken Glass when over 1,000 Jewish temples were burnt in Nazi-controlled European territories.
Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman on Wednesday denied reports of a massive debt incurred by his family firm, Agrotrade. The weekly Respekt reported that the firm got hundreds of millions of crowns in credit from banks, and later transferred its assets to another company, leaving Agrotrade some 600 million crowns in the red. However, Mr Toman said he was stationed abroad at that time, and never served on the company’s board. The firm said it would sue the magazine for an apology and damages.
Justice Minister Marie Benešová on Wednesday rejected calls to launch disciplinary proceedings against state attorney Ivo Ištván who is in charge of the Nečas case. Following the Supreme Court’s breakthrough ruling in the case, the former prime minister said proceedings against the state attorney should start immediately. Ms Benešová said she would consult Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman before taking a stand on the issue.
A crop duster plane crashed into a fire pond near Žlunice, in eastern Bohemia, on Wednesday, the local fire brigade said. The pilot, who was rescued from the cabin, suffered serious injuries in the accident and was airlifted to hospital. The accident is under investigation; several witnesses said they heard a loud bang before the crash.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’