A Prague district court has set bail for former Central Bohemian governor and MP David Rath (arrested in May on corruption charges) at 14 million crowns (the equivalent of almost 700,000 US dollars). The spokesman for the court Jiří Wažik stressed that the court on Monday decided only on the amount – not whether Mr Rath would indeed be freed from prison, where he has been under stricter confinement awaiting trial for fear he might try and influence witnesses. The court, the spokesman made clear, would take its decision in September if the bail amount was met. The former regional governor, David Rath, was arrested in May of this year – caught with a suspected bribe of seven million crowns on his person. On Monday, the MP’s wife Eva, his father Ratmír as well as Mr Rath himself were present in the courtroom as the bail was set.
Justice Minister Pavel Blažek has named Adam Bašný deputy to Lenka Bradáčová – the head of the high state attorney’s office in Prague. In the past, Mr Bašný was the head of the Liberec branch of the regional state attorney’s office in Ústí nad Labem; in 2009 he was recalled from his post at least in part for commenting on a corruption case involving then-deputy prime minister Jiří Čunek. Since last July Adam Bašný served on the EU’s civilian mission in Kosovo. The spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry, Petra Hrubá, said on Monday that that the new deputy prosecutor was a specialist in corruption cases and economic crime; his naming has been backed by Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman.
The Social Democratic Party, says news website idnes, will send potential
voters in this autumn’s regional and Senate elections mock postal orders
starting Tuesday to draw attention to the government’s church property
restitution deal worth an estimated 135 billion crowns. The mock orders
part of a broader election campaign by the Social Democrats to draw
attention to the deal’s scope – will “charge” Czechs almost 13,000
crowns per head to be “sent” to Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek.
Social Democrats recently made clear they would make church restitution a
key election issue in the upcoming regional elections; a similar campaign
covering state debt was used in the past by right-of-centre party TOP 09.
The government proposal on church property restitution was rejected by the Senate last week but is likely to pass when it comes up again in the lower house where government MPs have the majority.
Renovation of the B wing at Prague’s Motol Hospital will resume on Tuesday, hospital officials have revealed, less than a week after work was halted over structural concerns about the building. It had been discovered that the wing, which is empty, had moved ten centimetres over two weeks, leading to fears that more than 200 children in a neighbouring ward could be at risk. Structural engineers, who examined the building last week, however, reported that the evacuation of the patients from the neighbouring site would not be necessary; there is reportedly no danger that the B wing or neighbouring structures could collapse.
Three of six towns in the area of Česká lípa have rejected a plan by the region of Liberec to build new homes for mentally-disabled clients. Under the proposal, 80 mentally disabled women from two current, isolated facilities would move into ten buildings across six towns. The project is to cost 150 million crowns. Stráž pod Ralskem, Okna and Zákup have, however, have all come out against. The mayor of one of the towns, Zákup, told news website idnes that more than 500 people had rejected the idea in a petition - coming out against 24 clients being housed in the town centre. According to the mayor, the women would be unable to integrate within the greater population of less than 3,000; he cited a study that suggested the maximum number was six. The region of Liberec has been preparing the project for two years: the aim is specifically to help mentally-disabled persons reintegrate within broader society, while also providing new jobs for assistants.
Prague police are to investigate developments behind the recent sacking of Vladimír Lich as the head of the city’s Public Transit Company. Mr Lich was recalled from his post last week on the recommendation of the company’s supervisory board shortly after he filed lawsuits over a number of past tenders allegedly unfavourable for the company. The leadership of the TOP 09 party will discuss the matter on Monday evening, while the Civic Democrats are to meet on Tuesday. A coalition meeting over the matter is also expected.
Respected Czech sociologist Miloslav Petrusek – a former Social Sciences dean at Charles University – has died. He passed away at the age of 75, the spokesman for the university revealed on Monday. Professor Petrusek, a Zlín native, was one of the co-founders of the Havel Library and was also a former advisor to the late Mr Havel during his presidency.
The supply of water at one of ten devastated residential homes in Přednádraží Street in Ostrava, occupied by mostly Roma tenants, will not, for the time being, resume – despite the fact that the water bill has been paid. The company Ostrava Waterworks and Sanitation made the announcement on Monday after it conducted a pressure test in the water main and found there was leakage; the exact location has not yet been determined. The owner of the building Oldřich Roztočil has said for the time being part of the plumbing network could be cut off, so that water could at least be made available from one source.
Meteorologists correctly predicted that Monday would not only be the hottest day of the year but also would see a new record set for highest temperature on this date: Prague-Dobřichovice registered 40.4 degrees Celsius on Monday afternoon. Other areas, such as Kopisty, registered 39 degrees earlier in the day. Meteorologists will tabulate final data for the day at around nine pm this evening. The extreme temperatures led the head of the country’s armed forces to recommend a shorter work day, while special measures were implemented for soldiers on duty or in training: members of the Prague Castle guard, for example, donned summer uniforms from lighter materials and were allowed to stand guard and keep mobile outside of their booths. Earlier in the day, meteorologists issued specific warnings of extremely high temperatures for Prague and the Central Bohemian and Ústí regions, warnings individuals – especially seniors, children and the ill – to stay out of the sun if possible and to hydrate regularly. Previously, the highest temperature in the country on this date was recorded in Prague-Uhříněves in 1983.