Czech police have detained and charged three Czechs with human trafficking
and other criminal offences. The trio, two males and one female, are
suspected of having preyed on poor people in Most, North Bohemia, promising
legal and well-paid employment in Great Britain, but allegedly brutalizing
them upon their arrival in Manchester and taking away their passports.
The spokesman for the National Centre Against Organised Crime Jaroslav Ibehej said they were made to do numerous tasks. At least some of them were forced into prostitution and sex online.
All three of the suspects have been remanded in custody. Detectives charge that the three were involved in criminal activity between the years 2012 and 2017, and possibly longer. The trio brought at least 15 people to Great Britain, four of them women.
Russian diplomacy has seized upon words by Czech President Miloš Zeman on
Thursday regarding the deadly nerve agent Novichok, taking issue with Great
Britain and the claim that the nerve agent was only ever produced in the
former Soviet Union. On Thursday, on TV Barrandov which regularly
interviews the head of state, President Zeman said Czechia had produced the
Novichok nerve agent in a small amount for testing but it was then
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were targeted in England and barely survived. Great Britain maintains that all of the evidence points to Moscow.
The spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova was quoted by the Russian media as saying “the fog was lifting”. She charged that "lies" by the May administration were "growing more apparent".
Cooperation between the Czech military and Prague’s ambulance service is
set to wrap up on Friday. Ten army personnel had been called up to replace
medics who were in quarantine after coming in close contact with measles
The soldiers were on stand-by as of April 25 but were not used in the field, the spokeswoman for the ambulance service confirmed.
There have been 103 cases of measles in the Czech Republic this year, 70 of them in Prague.
The administration of Šumava National Park has said that existing “photo
points” in the vicinity of the park will be dismantled by May 25.
The designated areas had featured tableaus and equipment allowing visitors to take pictures at special lookout points, which they could download later from the web.
The spokesman for Šumava National Park Jan Dvořák said the main reason for the decision was new directives on the protection of personal data.
The ice hockey world championships begin in Denmark Friday. The Czech
Republic will play in their first group game Saturday against Slovakia.
The Czechs are looking to end a five year medal drought. After winning the gold in 2010 and bronze medals in the following two years, the Czech have failed to make it into the last three.
Coach Josef Jandač arrived in Denmark with many injury problems and questions who will take to the ice.
Czech president Miloš Zeman has said the country produced the Novichok
nerve agent for testing but it was then destroyed.
Zeman, speaking on commercial broadcaster TV Barrandov, said he based his comments on the findings of the military intelligence. Their information suggested the type of nerve agent believed to have been used on a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter was produced at a Brno military research centre in November last year.
Zeman said a report from the civil intelligence agency disagreed with that finding but he favoured the military intelligence.
Russia in March suggested the Czech Republic was one of the countries where novichok could have been produced. The comments sparked denials from Czech ministers and the government. Zeman later ordered investigations into whether it could be true.
The prosecution of Czech prime minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš will
continue over alleged EU subsidy fraud after the state prosecutor said a
complaint against the ongoing case had been dismissed.
Babiš’ prosecution alongside six others in the so-called Stork’s Nest affair would continue after their complaint was rejected, the Czech News Agency said Thursday evening citing the spokeswoman for the state prosecutor’s office.
The spokeswoman confirmed, however, that the complaint by ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltýnek had been upheld and prosecution against him and three others would be dropped.
The case focuses on alleged illegal use of 50 million euros in EU funding for a recreation centre and hotel from funding which should have been destined to support small and medium sized enterprises.
The Czech Republic has won another solar arbitration and will not have to
pay the around 310 million damages that were being sought. News of the
victory was communicated by the ministry of finance.
It said the international tribunal has found against German company Antaris GmbH and demanded that it pay 42.5 million crowns for legal costs incurred. The ministry said it was the second win against solar companies which had brought action against the state.
Solar companies have brought actions challenging a special tax levied on them by the state as a means to claw back what it regarded as excessive earnings after the costs of solar plants plummeted.
The European Commission has predicted a slowdown in the Czech economy. The
Commission’s Spring forecast sees GDP growth falling to 3.4 percent this
year and to 3.1 percent in 2019. In 2017 Czech economic growth was above
initial expectations at 4.4 percent.
This year’s Commission forecast is nonetheless an increase on February’s figure of 3.2 percent. The main motor of growth is expected to be buoyant domestic demand.
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