Daily news summary News

23-08-2005

Charges against CzechTek organizer withdrawn

The charges of damaging private property levelled against the organizer of an open air techno party Vaclav Sroub have been withdrawn. The state attorney returned the case to the police for further investigation, saying that the evidence collected against Sroub did not indicate that he was in any way responsible for damage to private property. The charges were made in the wake of the July techno party CzechTek which was broken up by the police on the grounds that the participants were trespassing on private land. The police have estimated the damage at around 300,000 crowns.

Politicians debate pension reform

Czech politicians are trying to reach consensus on a framework for pension reform. The Labour and Social Affairs Minister Zdenek Skromach said there was now agreement across the political spectrum on the need to gradually raise the retirement age for both men and women. However many key issues remain highly controversial. The Social Democrats are in favour of introducing individual pension accounts. Their coalition partners the Christian Democrats propose that people send part of their obligatory pension payments to pension funds, the opposition Civic Democrats are in favour of a low state pension supplemented by private savings while the Communists are in favour of maintaining the pay-as-you-go system.

Helios Airways to end its Larnaca-Prague service

The Cypriot low cost airline Helios Airways has announced it is ending its Larnaca-Prague service via Athens following the fatal crash of one of its airliners in Greece this month. The carrier's last return flight on this route is scheduled for Thursday morning. People who have booked tickets for subsequent flights are to be refunded.

Qatari prince extradited

Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani, a member of Qatar's royal family, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison by a Czech court for sexual abuse of underage girls, was released from custody late on Monday and has now left the Czech Republic. The Czech Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Abdal Sani could be extradited to face criminal prosecution in Qatar. The court ruling, which is believed to have set an important precedent, complied with an earlier request by Justice Minister Pavel Nemec for Mr Sani to be tried in his homeland.

Baros Aston Villa bound

Czech international footballer Milan Baros will remain in the English Premiership after his side, FC Liverpool, agreed to sell the striker to Aston Villa for a reported 6.5 million pounds. The 24-year-old is believed to have agreed to the terms and faces a medical Tuesday. The move to Aston Villa, where Baros will play with fellow Czech Patrik Berger, comes after weeks of speculation over the striker's future. Last year Baros was Liverpool's joint-top scorer, but faced tough competition this year among fellow Liverpool players.

Weather:

Wednesday is expected to bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with day temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees.

23-08-2005