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31-08-2019

Prosecutor expected to announce decision on Babiš charges Monday

The municipal state attorney’s office in Prague is expected to say on Monday whether criminal charges will be brought against the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, and members of his family. The police have recommended that charges be filed over suspicion of abuse of EU subsidies in connection with Stork’s Nest, a hotel and conference centre near Prague. The prosecutor had until the end of August to come to a decision on the matter. The case file is reported to contain 23,000 pages.

Some members of the junior party in government, the Social Democrats, have called for ANO leader Babiš to stand down. However, party chairman Jan Hamáček says the Social Democrats will remain in the coalition even if the PM is charged.

Prague 6 mayor under police protection amid Konev statue controversy

The mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář, is under police protection after receiving death threats in connection with a decision to cover up a controversial statue of Soviet army commander Ivan Konev in the district. The local authority had the monument, which has repeatedly been vandalised, surrounded by a tarpaulin mounted on scaffolding on Friday. Activists then pulled down the tarpaulin, before it was later put back.

Two people were arrested after another attempt to remove the cover on Friday night while another man pulled it down on Saturday.

The Russian Embassy said the statute actually needed to be protected from the Prague 6 council. The local authority has proposed moving it to a park close to the embassy.

Hundreds of police overseeing traffic on final weekend of holidays

Hundreds of police officers are out in force on the Czech Republic’s motorways and roads for what is traditionally one of the most dangerous weekends of the year, the end of the holiday season. Towing vehicles have also been deployed on motorways in order to prevent tailbacks by quickly removing cars that become involved in collisions.

Police say that a total of 41 people died over the nine weekends of the holiday period to date. On three occasions there were seven deaths, including on the traditionally risky first weekend of the season.

Documentation prepared on Smartwings flight with single working engine

The Czech Republic’s Air Navigation Services have prepared for investigators all the documents required to analyse a Smartwings flight in which the pilots flew from Greece to Prague last week with only one functioning engine, Czech Television reported. The documentation includes a transcription of communication between dispatchers and the air crew, which will reveal whether the team admitted to the engine malfunction.

The documents will be handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Accidents Investigation Institute. The materials are intended for investigators and will not be made public.

Prague galleries hosting works from around Europe for weekend

Prague galleries are for the first time hosting exhibitions by art institutions from other countries as part of the international project Friend of a Friend, iDnes.cz reported. In the course of the three-day event, which ends on Sunday, galleries such as Berlinskej Model, Hunt Kastner, Lítost, Polansky Gallery and Lucie Drdova Gallery are showing works by around 30 artists from a number of European states.

Organisers say the project is intended to boost awareness of the current state of the Prague gallery scene within the European context.

Lukáš Krpálek becomes judo world champion

The Czech Republic’s Lukáš Krpálek has been crowned world champion in the heavyweight, over 100 kg category at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo. Krpálek, who is 28, beat Hisayoshi Harasawa of Japan in Saturday’s final.

He was previously world champion at a lower weight category but switched to 100kg+ after winning the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Plíšková reaches fourth at US Open while Muchová bows out

Karolína Plíšková has reached the fourth round of the US Open in New York. The Czech third seed overcame the Tunisian player Ons Jabeur 6-1 4-6 6-4 on Friday. It is the fourth year in a row that Plíšková has made it into the second week of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season.

Her compatriot Karolína Muchová was knocked out 3-6 2-6 in the third round by US star Serena Williams, a six-time winner at Flushing Meadows.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be quite sunny with the likelihood of storms in the Czech Republic, with temperatures reaching up to 31 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to fall to around 20 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the week.

31-08-2019