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26-03-2019

Kvitová knife attacker gets eight-year sentence

The Regional Court in Brno has sentenced Radim Žondra to eight years in jail for a brutal knife attack on the Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová. The 33-year-old was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and unlawful entry over the incident, which occurred at Kvitová’s home in December 2016.

Presiding judge Dagmar Bordovská said that the two-time Wimbledon winner’s testimony had proven crucial in the case. Earlier in the trial Kvitová had told the court that Žondra, who claimed to be a boiler inspector, had held a knife to her throat. When the 29-year-old grabbed the weapon, the blade cut into her left hand, leaving her with career-threatening injuries that required major surgery.

Kvitová, who fell in the world rankings in the wake of the attack, is currently taking part in the Miami Open, where she is in with a chance of becoming women’s number one for the first time in her career.

Trial begins of soldier accused of joining pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine

The trial of a Czech soldier on terrorism charges for joining pro-Russian separatists fighting in Ukraine began at the Regional Court in Pardubice on Tuesday. Erik Eštu testified that he had been in Ukraine to get to know his wife’s country of origin better. He said he had had his photograph taken in a separatist forces uniform and carrying a gun as a souvenir.

He is accused of guarding a trench at the front, carrying out weapons maintenance and guarding the entrance to the living quarters of members of the Republican Guard, one of a number of separatist groups taking part in the war in Donbass.

The soldier denied visiting the front, saying local patrols had prevented him a friend from doing so. The incidents in question took place in 2015, before Mr. Eštu joined the Czech Army, where he is now serving in an airborne battalion.

Prominent Czech-American Fred Malek dies at 82

The prominent Czech-American Fred Malek has died at the age of 82. The Washington-based American Friends of the Czech Republic, of which he was chairman, said in a statement that he had passed away on Sunday.

The Illinois-born Mr. Malek was one of the most successful US businessmen of Czech origin, having been president of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines. He also served as an advisor to four American presidents and was a noted philanthropist.

Organised crime police carry out raids at multiple locations

Officers from the police’s national organised crime unit carried out raids in a number of the places in the Czech Republic on Tuesday morning. Czech Television reported that they also planned to search law offices.

Early this month organised crime specialists raided the Prague offices of Austrian company Kapsch, the Office for the Protection of Competition in Brno, a Brno district town hall and the home of ANO deputy leader Jaroslav Faltýnek.

Kapsch CEO Karel Feix, the head of the anti-monopoly office, Petr Rafaj, and several others are suspected of trying to manipulate a tender to operate an electronic motorway toll system in the Czech Republic.

Singer Daniel Nekonečný dies at 52

The Czech singer and dancer Daniel Nekonečný has died at the age of 52. The flamboyant showman was found dead at his home in the Prague district of Řeporyje, the site Blesk.cz reported. Police are investigating the cause.

Nekonečný, whose real name was Konečný, was a member of the band Laura a její tygři and later formed his own outfit Šum svistu before going solo. He also acted in films and TV series.

Plíšková and Vondroušová to face one another in last eight in Miami

Karolína Plíšková and Markéta Vondroušová have reached the quarter-finals of tennis’s Miami Open and will now face each other. The fifth-seeded Plíšková overcame Yulia Putsineva of Kazakhstan on Monday, while Vondroušová beat Tatjana Maria of Germany.

The Czechs’ compatriot Petra Kvitová is also in the last eight in Miami, where Ashleigh Barty of the US stands between her and a first appearance in the tournament's semi-finals.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should see bright spells and some rain in the Czech Republic, with temperatures reaching up to 8 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs will gradually climb to around 15 degrees Celsius at the weekend.

26-03-2019