Czech Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok will head a working group overseeing the drawing of EU funds. The group will also include two government ministers and representatives of the regions, the prime minister told reporters on Friday. The Czech Republic has had serious problems with securing EU funds, and has been criticized by the European Commission over insufficient control of EU-funded projects.
All four people accused in a bribery case of former PM Petr Nečas’ chief of staff have been released from police custody. Mr Nečas’s former chief aide, Jana Nagyová, left an Ostrava prison shortly after noon on Friday following a court ruling that there was no longer a risk of them influencing witnesses. Another three people, including the former head of the Czech military intelligence service, Ondřej Páleník, were released later on Friday They were detained last month in a large-scale police operation related to the case of three former MPs accused of bribe taking. The scandal eventually led to the collapse of the centre-right Czech government.
Three people died and another two suffered serious injuries in a road crash near Letohrad, in eastern Bohemia on Friday afternoon. The accident involving two cars which collided at a crossroads, the police said. The causes of the accident are under investigation; the police are looking for any witnesses.
The Czech police have arrested four Polish citizens aged between 19 and 37 suspected of robbing over 850 houses in the Czech Republic. Investigators believe the gang started operating in the country in 2009; they allegedly burgled houses at night while their inhabitants were asleep; they entered through windows or balconies, and stole mainly cash, gold and jewellery. Total damages have been estimated at over 35 million crowns. If convicted, the four men face up to eight years in prison.
The police have charged a 31-year-old woman with the murder of three newborn babies, the chief of the South Moravian police force, Leoš Tržil told reporters on Friday. The babies’ bodies were discovered in the cellar of the woman’s house in Vlasatice, outside Brno, on Thursday night. The woman confessed to having killed her twins roughly a year ago, and another newborn last May. The police were tipped off by the woman’s gynaecologist whom she told the newborn died in hospital soon after the birth. The woman said she had killed the babies due to her depressing financial situation, according to the police. If convicted, she faces a life sentence.
Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger, of the Saxo-Tinkoff team, came in 24th in Stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday, and retained fourth position overall. Kreuziger finished in a group 8 minutes and 40 seconds behind stage winner Rui Alberto Costa. Saxo-Tinkoff team leader, Alberto Contador of Spain, came in 23rd in Friday’s stage, and is ranked 2nd overall.
Nearly 190,000 Czechs were treated with asthma last year, with was some 2,000 more than the previous year, according to government figures released on Friday. The highest number of asthma sufferers per 100,000 inhabitants was registered in Prague, the lowest in the Olomouc region. 37 percent of patients suffered from medium and severe forms of asthma. Last year also saw a 2-percent increase in the number of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The Czech health authorities registered another 96 new cases of HIV in the Czech Republic in the first six months of this year, according to the national reference lab for HIV/AIDS. In the same period last year, 100 new cases of the infection were registered in the country. Six people died of the disease between January and June 2006. Since 1985 when monitoring began, 1983 cases of HIV have been recorded in the country.
Three former MPs charged with bribe-taking but released this week could still face criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that their actions were covered by their parliamentary immunity. The three former Civic Democrat deputies faced bribery charges for allegedly having agreed to quit their seats in the lower house in return for posts in state-run companies. However, a spokesman for the Supreme Court said on Friday their immunity only applied to their decision to step down as MPs while any further circumstances as well as their motivation could be subject to criminal proceedings.
Sparta Prague tied 2:2 against Sweden’s BK Häcken in the first leg of Europa League’s second round qualifier in Prague on Thursday. Sparta captain David Lafata scored the first two goals but the visitors came back and tied the game with hits in the 69th and 77th minute, respectively. Meanwhile, Liberec lost their Europa League qualifier 1:2 against Skonto Riga.
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