President Vaclav Klaus has refused to apologise to MP Zdenek Koristka, who
claims people acting on behalf of Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek
tried to bribe him to bring down the government. The MP wrote to the
president on Friday asking for an apology, after Mr Klaus publicly
described him as "not completely trustworthy".
Meanwhile, the two men arrested on Thursday on charges of trying to bribe Mr Koristka were released from custody a day later, after the state attorney rejected a police request to hold them on remand.
Zdenek Koristka says Marek Dalik and Jan Vecerek, acting on behalf of Mr Topolanek, offered him 10 million crowns (around 300,000 euros) to bring down the government, which has a majority of just one, in a confidence vote. The Civic Democrats strenuously deny the allegations.
A special institution for children who have committed serious crimes is likely to be set up at the Czech Republic's best-known mental hospital, Bohnice in Prague, the daily Pravo reported on Saturday. A spokesperson for Bohnice said the hospital was prepared to take on the project. The issue of how to deal with serious offenders under the age of criminal responsibility, which in the Czech Republic is 15, arose following a series of gruesome crimes by minors.
Banik Ostrava football club are to be punished by European football's governing body UEFA, following crowd trouble at a UEFA Cup game between Ostrava and English club Middlesbrough on Thursday. Banik have been found guilty of inadequate segregation and failing to prevent fighting in their stadium during the game.
The Czech Republic has officially asked Israel to extradite an Israeli citizen wanted in connection with a grenade attack on a casino owner in Prague at the beginning of August. An Israeli court will now decide whether to extradite the man, who is 27 and originally from the former Soviet Union. Eighteen people, mostly foreign tourists, were injured in the attack, which was believed to be part of a feud between Israeli crime gangs.
In a related development, Zdenek Koristka has demanded an apology from President Klaus for having labelled him "an unreliable figure" in a statement to the media. Mr. Klaus entered the fray on Thursday, saying he knew Mr. Koristka personally and that he did not consider him to be an altogether reliable figure. Zdenek Koristka underwent a lie detector test recently, which suggested that he was telling the truth. It was on the grounds if this test as well as several testimonies that the police detained the two men on Thursday.
Two men who were detained by the police on Thursday on suspicion of attempting to bribe a member of Parliament have been released on the order of a state attorney. The state attorney said on Friday that the police had not presented sufficient grounds for keeping them in custody. Marek Dalik, adviser to opposition Civic Democratic Party leader Mirek Topolanek, and lobbyist Jan Vecerek, are both suspected of attempting to bribe government coalition MP Zdenek Koristka ahead of a crucial vote in Parliament. Last month, Mr Koristka told a leading Czech daily that someone close to the Civic Democrats had offered him the equivalent of 300,000 euros in exchange for a "no" vote of confidence in the government.