Police have charged the mother of five-year-old Tereza Cermakova, whose body was found by officers on Monday after a 20-day search, with causing grievous bodily harm through negligence. An autopsy carried out on Tereza's body found that she had died of respiratory and heart failure. Her mother, Helena Cermakova, reported her missing on June 20, which triggered off a search operation involving up to 600 police officers. After apparently changing her story several times, Mrs Cermakova tried to commit suicide by jumping out of a third storey window last week. Tereza's body was apparently found after police officers questioned her mother on Monday. Mrs Cermakova was charged on Wednesday with causing grievous bodily harm through negligence after many hours of questioning. If found guilty, she could face up to five years in prison.
The chief of staff of the Czech armed forces, Jiri Sedivy, says he would like the country to have a professional standing army by 2010. Mr Sedivy said this week that the army must become fully professional in order to complete the transition from the Communist era to being a fully operational member of NATO. The Czech armed forces currently rely heavily on young soldiers serving one year of national service. In May, the country's new Defence Minister, Jaroslav Tvrdik, announced that plans are being drawn up to create a professional standing army as soon as possible. Shadow Defence Minister Petr Necas warned on Wednesday that transforming the armed forces will lead to up to 25,000 job losses, and called for a broad political consensus on the issue.
According to an opinion poll carried out by an Austrian research institute, Poles, Hungarians and Czechs have very little faith in their police and court systems. The survey, carried out by Austria's IMAS-International institute, shows that only 19 percent of Czechs, 12 percent of Hungarians and 11 percent of Poles who took part in the survey feel well protected by their police forces. "The Czechs and Poles in particular feel that they have little protection and are concerned about their legal systems", IMAS is quoted as saying in a news release. Almost fifty percent of Czechs, and seventy percent of Poles asked said they did not have full confidence in their legal systems.
Doctors at a transplant centre suspected of selling human organs say the organs were used for training purposes. According to the head of the IKEM transplant centre, Stefan Vitko, the twenty four human organs in question were unfit for use in transplants, and were used for training purposes for young doctors. But the parliamentary commission that is investigating the disappearance of the organs says that Mr Vitko has provided insufficient proof that the organs were used in this way, and has demanded that he provide further evidence.
The Czech National Property Fund has cancelled a public tender for the selection of advisors for the privatisation of gas and electricity companies. The fund took this step following a recommendation from the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition. The office stated that the results of the tender should be annulled, as the National Property Fund apparently failed to explain its choice and provide a description of the selection procedure, which it is obliged by law to carry out. The government will now have to decide how to proceed with the public tender.
The high court in Prague today reduced the prison sentence of a woman convicted of defrauding the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra of almost 2 million Czech crowns, or some 57,000 US dollars, from five years to four. Milada Cizova was convicted in March of defrauding the orchestra while working there as an accountant in 1999. The high court's verdict on the matter is final, and cannot be appealed.
And finally, a quick look at the weather forecast. Thursday in the Czech Republic should see partially cloudy to cloudy skies, with rain showers expected later in the day. Daytime highs should reach 25 degrees Celsius. Night-time lows on Thursday could drop to 12 degrees Celsius. The weather on Friday should be much the same, but with slightly higher temperatures, with daytime highs reaching 27 degrees Celsius.
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