Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

30-10-2003

Appeals court bans live broadcast of Srba trial, confirms eight years in jail for Srba

The Prague High Court decided on Thursday to ban a live television broadcast of the appeals hearing in the case of former Foreign Ministry official Karel Srba who was sentenced earlier this year to eight years in prison for plotting to murder an investigative journalist. The Czech Republic's first live televised court trial got under way on Thursday morning despite the objections of the country's highest officials. Originally, judge Jiri Lnenicka granted Czech Television its request to broadcast the proceedings live but as other defendants objected against the broadcast, the court senate decided not to allow the live coverage to continue.

The court of appeal finally confirmed the verdict of the Ceske Budejovice district court which had sentenced Karel Srba to eight years in prison. The state prosecutor on Thursday requested stiffer punishments for all five defendants in the case of the planned murder of a journalist, while the defence council for Mr Srba requested that the verdict be overruled, and the matter submitted for another court hearing.

Finance Minister Sobotka appointed fourth deputy prime minister

President Vaclav Klaus has appointed Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka fourth deputy prime minister in the government of Vladimir Spidla. Mr Sobotka will be in charge of economic matters and the second stage of fiscal reform. Mr Spidla said that the broader powers Mr Sobotka will now wield signal that the government wants to continue carrying out structural reforms. Mr Sobotka should coordinate the preparation of reform-related bills, particularly those on the pension system, stabilisation of the health care system and also further deepening of the discussion on tax changes.

Lower house passes bill to limit short-term employment contracts

The lower house of the Czech Parliament has passed an amendment to the Labour Code under which companies will be able to employ workers on short-term contracts for no more than two years. After that time the work contracts will have to become permanent. The bill has yet to be approved by the Senate and the president.

Hasek may yet face Czech trial over fight allegation

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek may still face a trial in his native Czech Republic over an alleged fight during an in-line hockey game earlier this year. In August, the district attorney in Hasek's home district of Pardubice opted not to press criminal charges against him over the incident, in which an opposing player was knocked unconscious. The Pardubice attorney instead decided to treat it as a misdemeanour, but the chief state prosecutor Marie Benesova nullified that decision saying it was illegal. She has ordered the case be re-examined.

Weather

Friday should be overcast with daytime temperatures expected to reach 11 degrees Celsius.

30-10-2003