Police have begun investigating corruption allegations against Karel Srba, a former Foreign Ministry official who faces charges of planning to kill a journalist. Speaking on Tuesday, police chief Jiri Kolar denied allegations made by Mr Srba's lawyer that the scandal was being used by the police as a way to investigate Mr Srba's financial dealings, which previously came under the remit of the tax office. Mr Srba and three other people are in custody on charges of planning to murder journalist Sabina Slonkova; a scandal exposed by Miss Slonkova last year led to Mr Srba being forced to resign from the Foreign Ministry.
The Czech Republic could start using the currency the euro by 2010, Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Tuesday. Mr Sobotka said introducing the euro was a priority of the recently-formed government, adding that it was a realistic ambition. To meet the Masstricht criteria necessary to adopt the euro, the public deficit must not exceed three percent of gross domestic product. The Finance Ministry expects the public deficit to be down to 5.5 percent of GDP four years from now. The Czech Republic hopes to join the European Union in 2004.
Police are investigating a killing at a mental hospital in the north Moravian town of Opava on Monday night. A 27-year-old warden at the clinic is accused of strangling a 48-year-old patient to death with a shoelace - both murderer and victim had previously been deemed insane. A police source told the CTK news agency that the warden had been accused of the same crime at a different mental hospital five years ago.
A court has increased the prison sentences of three men who burnt a work-mate to death in 1998. In appeal proceedings instituted by the three, the Ostrava Regional Court raised the sentences of two of the men to eight years in prison and the third to six years. The men, who are all in their mid twenties, were maintenance workers at a dairy near Sumperk, north Moravia. They locked colleague Petr Janhub in a toilet, poured petrol on and under the door and lit it. Mr Janhub, who was 22, died of his burns almost three weeks later.
Some 40 residents of an apartment building in Havirov, north Moravia, were evacuated on Monday evening when a suspicious package was discovered outside one of the flats, police said on Tuesday. Bomb disposal experts were called in to deal with the package, which was found to contain a child's doll.
Wednesday should be another hot day with temperatures of up to 31 degrees Celsius. It will be partially cloudy, and storms and possibly hail are also expected. The tropical temperatures currently affecting the country should ease off from Friday.
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