Daily news summary News

22-08-2005

Luxembourg's EMV set to sue Czech Rep

A spokesman for the Luxembourg-based company, EMV, has said his firm has prepared an arbitration lawsuit against the Czech Republic, blaming the country for having failed to protect a 45 million dollar investment. EMV was a financial partner in the now-defunct regional television broadcaster TV 3. The company has blamed the Czech Republic's Council for Radio & Television Broadcasting (RRTV) for what it called "unlawful conduct" in a broadcasting licence dispute that saw the licence eventually go to a competitor.

EMV's lawsuit is the second case in which a foreign investor has blamed the Czech Republic for failing to protect foreign investment in the media sector. Two years ago an arbitration court awarded the Bermuda-based company CME 10 billion crowns - the equivalent of 354 million US dollars - for losses incurred when the company was cut out of the market-leading private broadcaster TV Nova.

Qatari sex offender will face prosecution at home

The Czech Supreme Court has ruled that Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani, a member of Qatar's royal family, may be extradited to face criminal prosecution in Qatar. On Monday the court complied with an earlier request by Justice Minister Pavel Nemec allowing Mr Sani to be tried at home. Earlier this year, in Prague, Mr Sani was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for the sexual abuse of 16 underage girls. He will now be released from custody. Qatari authorities have begun preparing Mr Sani's prosecution; at home the royal could reportedly even face a life sentence.

Marked increase in number of infant deaths on Czech roads

The civic organisation Czech Autoclub has reported that 22 children died in Czech road accidents in the first half of 2005. The number of infant fatalities is a marked increase - up by 14 during the same period last year. The fatalities involved children between the ages of six and fourteen. Most of the children were passengers - almost half of those killed were either not wearing seat belts or were not in protective child car seats.

Social Democrat under suspicion of having forged lustration certificate

A member of the ruling Social Democratic Party's executive committee, Marian Kus, has been asked by members of the party's Moravian and Silesian Committee to temporarily give up his post. Mr Kus, listed as a collaborator with the Communist-era secret police, is under suspicion of having forged a lustration certificate in order to clear his name. Prominent Social Democrat leaders like deputy leader Lubomir Zaoralek have expressed dismay over the charge, saying if proven it would make it unacceptable for Mr Kus to remain within party ranks.

Mr Kus himself has not responded to the charge, failing to attend a meeting of the regional executive committee on Monday. He sent only a phone text message explaining he was not in the country.

CzechTourism poll looks at foreign visits

The government tourist board CzechTourism has revealed the results of a survey looking at reasons why foreigners visit the Czech Republic: according to the poll: relaxation and exploration top the list. According to the board, foreigners come most to visit friends as well as come on business trips and for sports and cultural events. Last year 8 million foreigners visited the Czech Republic - that number is expected to grow by 10 percent this year.

CzechTourism's survey polled some 8,000 respondents in Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovkia, of whom less than one percent said they had never visited the Czech Republic.

Midfielder Jarosik joins Birmingham

Czech international Jiri Jarosik, a midfielder for the football club Chelsea in the English Premiership, has joined Birmingham on loan. Birmingham will have the option of making the deal permanent at the end of the season. The 27-year-old Jarosik joined Chelsea just eight months ago and played only 20 games for the league leaders. The player's first start for Birmingham is expected Tuesday against Middlesbrough.

Weather

Tuesday is expected to see thundershowers with daytime temperatures of around 22 degrees Celsius.

22-08-2005