President Vaclav Klaus has requested that he be informed in detail about
allegations the police bugged phone calls made to him by a businessman,
the newspaper Lidove noviny reported on Monday. Two days previously the
daily said the police had listened in on calls made to Mr Klaus by Radko
Pecic, a good friend of the president's under investigation in connection
with a fraud case.
Wire-tapping has been in the headlines for several weeks, since the leader of the opposition Civic Democrats said his phone had been bugged since he was elected two years ago. At the end of last week, President Klaus called on the interior minister to dismiss the chief of police, after the latter made statements evidently making light of wire-tapping.
The president is due to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Stanislav Gross on Tuesday.
Czech football coach Zdenek Zeman is making the headlines in Italy, after taking the small club Lecce to second place in the country's first division. He has played down the club's successful start to the season, saying their main aim is still to avoid relegation. A former coach at Lazio and Roma, Mr Zeman sparked a huge controversy in 1998 when he raised questions about possible drug-taking in Serie A.
Over 600 employees at steelmakers Ispat Nova Hut have accepted severance pay equivalent to 25 months' salary, a spokesman for the north Moravian company said on Monday. Ispat Nova Hut plans to lay off 2,000 of its 11,000 workers by the end of the year. The redundancy pay offer - which is unusually generous by Czech standards - is open to employees until the middle of November.
The former owner of Sparta Prague football club, Petr Mach, has been found not guilty of large scale fraud by a court in Prague. Mr Mach had been accused of not repaying a bank loan of 160 million crowns (over five million euros). He was released from prison last year after serving a two-year term for not paying import tax on a luxury car.
The police allegedly tapped the phone of a close friend of President
Klaus, listening in to some of his conversations with the head of
state. According to Saturday's Lidove Noviny the police bugged
entrepreneur Ranko Pecic, for at least three months, enabling them to
listen in to his phone conversations with the President but also with
the Civic Democratic Party leader Mirek Topolanek. According to the
paper, a Prague court approved the tapping, but the then interior
minister Stanislav Gross was not aware of it..
These revelations come just hours after President Klaus asked the interior minister to consider sacking the police president for some ill-advised remarks he made with regard to phone tapping. In connection with the investigation of an alleged bribery case in which the police tapped the phone of at least one high placed politician, the police president noted that tapping of private phone conversations was a normal police practice which did not infringe on people's rights and should not bother citizens as long as they are innocent. Police diffuse explosive devise in the centre of Prague
The EU Italian commissioner-designate Rocco Buttiglione has attacked the Czech candidate for Euro commissioner Vladimir Spidla in the Italian press, labelling him "a tough ex-communist". In an interview for the Italian daily La Stampa Buttiglione said he wielded almost no powers as far as discrimination was concerned. The main portion of them had been assigned to Czech Vladimir Spidla - a tough ex-communist in whose hands the principles of freedom were surely guaranteed, Buttiglione reportedly told the paper. Mr. Spidla has refused to comment on the remarks. His spokeswoman only pointed out that Mr. Spidla had never been a member of the Communist Party. Buttiglione's controversial statements on homosexuals and women allegedly threaten the fate of the whole new EC.
The police are investigating a planned terrorist attack which presented a serious public threat in the very centre of Prague last Friday. Someone planted a fully functional explosive device outside a nightclub at the top end of Wenceslas Square, where thousands of people pass daily. According to experts it was the work of a professional, and posed a serious danger. The police say it was immensely fortunate that a passer by noticed the abandoned plastic bag placed next to one of the night club's limousines and alerted the police. It is not clear whether the terrorist attack was directly aimed at the Darling Cabaret nightclub. Its owners say they have received no threats of any kind. The incident comes just three months after a grenade explosion injured 18 people outside a casino in Prague's Prikopy street.
The Czech and Danish prime ministers have said that if Turkey fulfils EU criteria it should be admitted to the European Union. During talks in Prague on Friday, the visiting Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he expected the December EU summit would give the start of accession talks with Turkey the green light. However the start of accession talks does not automatically imply admission at the end of the road, the Danish Prime Minister said, noting that Turkey would be under close scrutiny in meeting EU norms.
The upper end of Wenceslas Square was closed off for several hours on Friday after the police found a fully functional explosive device outside a nightclub. According to experts it was the work of a professional, and posed a serious danger. It was placed in the very centre of Prague where thousands of people pass daily. The police say it was immensely fortunate that a passer by noticed the abandoned plastic bag placed next to one of the night club's limousines and alerted the police. It is not clear whether the terrorist attack was directly aimed at the Darling Cabaret nightclub. Its owners say they have received no threats of any kind. The incident comes just three months after a grenade explosion injured 18 people outside a casino in Prague's Prikopy street.
The Czech Republic has sharply criticized Belarus for manipulating a referendum that gives President Lukashenko the possibility of ruling indefinitely. It was a victory achieved by crude manipulation of both public opinion and the referendum results, a Czech foreign ministry statement says, noting that Lukashenko's regime had again missed an opportunity to improve relations with the democratic world. The Foreign Ministry said it would continue to provide support for Belarusian democratic forces.