Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek is set to travel to Turkey in the near future over the case of two Czechs arrested in the country and charged with terrorist activities in the Kurdish Peoples Protection Unit YPG. Mr.Zaorálek is also set to discuss the Yunus Emre thermal power plant in the north west of the country and a loan of 12 billion crowns from the Czech Export Bank to the Czech firm Vítkovice Machinery Group, which was selected to build the plant.
Customs officials at Václav Havel Airport in Prague on Sunday arrested a foreign national carrying more than nine kilograms of heroin, the spokeswoman for Customs Administration, Šárka Miškovská, informed on Wednesday. The 39-year-old man was travelling to Prague from Islamabad and the drug was discovered in his suitcase. The street value of the drug is estimated at around 20 million crowns. The case was handed over to the National Anti- Drug Headquarters for further investigation.
Russia and the United States have both officially requested the extradition of alleged Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, who was arrested in October by Czech investigators working with the FBI, Tereza Schejbalová of the Ministry of Justice informed on Wednesday. A federal grand jury in California has indicted Mr Nikulin for hacking computers belonging to LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring and obtaining information from them.
ANO want the party’s newly elected governor of the Karlovy Vary Region, Jana Vildumetzová, to head the influential national association of regional governors. ANO’s coalition partners the Social Democrats want their Jiří Zimola, the governor of South Bohemia, to replace party colleague Michal Hašek as leader of the organisation. The Social Democrats have five regional governors after recent elections while ANO have six, including the mayor of Prague.
A Czech couple charged with terrorism in Turkey sent a consignment of souvenirs of the conflict in Syria home prior to their arrest, iDnes.cz reported. Miroslav Farkas and Markéta Všelichová sent army uniforms and boots as well as scarves and other items to a friend in the Czech Republic so he could organise an exhibition and donate the takings toward the building of a field hospital in Syria, the news site said. The pair say they have been serving in Syria with the Kurdish group YPG, which Turkey considers a terror organisation. They were arrested attempting to enter Iraq from Turkey, Czech officials say.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says those in his Social Democrats who have been criticising him in recent weeks can also run for the party leadership if they so wish. It is believed that his words were aimed at MP Jeroným Tejc and Jiří Zimola, the governor of South Bohemia, both of whom have been openly critical of the party leader since the Social Democrats’ poor showing in regional elections last month. The latter said that party would benefit if it split the posts of PM and chairman as Mr. Sobotka was incapable of stemming a decline in voter support.
Prague councillors have voted to file a claim for damages linked to the Opencard system against former city officials, including one-time mayor Pavel Bém. Councillors say they hope the move will lead to the prosecution of Mr. Bém and others over the Opencard, an electronic ticket for public transport and other services that is being discontinued. The system cost Prague around CZK 1.7 billion. A spokesperson said City Hall had been considering the move for over a year.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has issued two pardons to women in prison, his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Tuesday. Mr. Ovčáček said one of the pardons, for a woman who is looking after her young child in jail, was requested by Pope Francis in a letter to Mr. Zeman. The Czech head of state has granted five pardons since taking office and the mother, who has served most of her sentence, is the first of them not to have serious health problems.
The president of France, Francois Hollande, is expected in Prague on Wednesday next week to meet the Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman. Mr. Hollande had been due to come to the city in July but cancelled the visit after terror attacks in Nice and Normandy. At that time the French president had been expected to hold talks with Mr. Zeman and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on the security situation in Europe and the future of the EU in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave.
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