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17-10-2019

Court rehabilitates Pavel Wonka, last dissident to die in Communist prison

The Náchod district court has ruled that Pavel Wonka, believed to be the last Czech political prisoner to have died in prison under Communism, had been illegally incarcerated.

His brother had filed a lawsuit to have him ‘rehabilitated’ and can now claim damages from the state over the unjustified imprisonment.

Following the verdict on Wednesday, Jiří Wonka told reporters that it was a moral victory and that he had not filed the lawsuit to get compensation.

Pavel Wonka was imprisoned in April 1988 for several weeks and died under unclear circumstances. He had initially been released due to bad health, but a judge sent him back to prison for another five months.

Wonka was posthumously awarded the Medal of Merit in 2013.

President Zeman checks into hospital for several days

President Miloš Zeman checked into hospital on Thursday afternoon for what his spokesman called a "reconditioning stay" that will last through Sunday.

Zeman, 75, has low blood pressure, diabetes and polyfunctional neuropathy that affects his legs, and for these reasons may appear tired in public, Prague Castle has said.

His spokesman said on Wednesday that the president is checking into the Central Military Hospital in Střešovice for routine preventive treatment because he wants to be "fit" for national holiday celebrations on October 28.

Petition calls on Charles University rector to resign over Home Credit agreement

More than 600 Charles University students, graduates and employees have called on its rector Tomáš Zima to step down over a controversial partnership agreement with consumer lender Home Credit.

Under the cooperation agreement, Home Credit, which is part of the PPF Group controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, was to give Charles University half a million crowns annually. Following a wave of criticism, the company withdrew from the deal.

“The incident clearly shows that the rector of Charles University failed in negotiating the deal with Home Credit and put the university’s good name at risk,” the academics wrote in an open letter addressed to the Academic Senate, which is to hold a meeting on Friday.

German tourist pleads guilty to spray painting graffiti on Charles Bridge

One of the two German citizens, who were accused of spray-painting graffiti on Charles Bridge earlier this year pleaded guilty to the charges at a hearing in a Prague court on Thursday.

Niclas Steiger, one of the two brothers caught by police in June spraying a logo on the stone bridge support said he wasn’t aware that the wall was part of the famous 14th century monument.

The two men, aged 23 and 30, were expelled from the Czech Republic and fined 100,000 crowns. They face jail sentences of up to three years on charges of damage to property.

Government report: 230,830 people homeless in Czechia

There are around 230,830 homeless people living in the Czech Republic, according to a census carried out in the spring by the research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs and published on Thursday.

The majority of the homeless are men and about 2,600 people of the total number are people under the age of 18, the report says.

Most of the homeless concentrate in large cities and towns. About 3,250 of them live in the Czech capital.

Production of passenger cars up by 0.7 percent in Q3

The production of passenger cars in the Czech Republic rose by 0.7 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019 to over one million units, the Automotive Industry Association announced on Thursday.

Production in September reached 125,351 cars, which is a six percent increase on the same period last year.

The growth was pulled mainly by Škoda Auto and TPCA. Škoda Auto raised output by 2.5 percent to over 670,000 vehicles while TPCA made nearly 162,000 cars, which represents a growth of 2.7 percent.

Weather

Friday will be partly cloudy to overcast with daytime highs ranging between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.

17-10-2019