The chairman of the Czech Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský, is to be the Judge-Rapporteur for the complaint filed by senator Tomio Okamura over his disqualification from next year’s presidential race. Mr Rychetský has criticized the law on direct presidential election in the past. After studying the complaint, the chairman will present several options to be decided on by the rest of the judges.
The Senate voted not to deliberate on a bill stipulating salaries for federal judges and tax regulations for lawmakers. The bill thus automatically passed through the upper house and will be going straight to the president to be signed into law. According to the bill, judges’ salaries will be calculated as 2.75 of the national average salary, instead of the current 2.5, as of 1 January. The monthly salary for a judge would thus come out to under 63,000 crowns. The legislation also exempts members of the parliament from paying health and social insurance on their salary bonuses. The bonuses will still be taxable.
Former member of the national football team Václav Drobný died in hospital after a sledding accident at the Spindlerův Mlýn ski resort in the Czech Republic’s Krkonoše Mountains early on Friday. Drobný was allegedly sledding with friends at around 2 am, and had collided with a tree on the lower part of the run, suffering critical injuries. The 32-year-old former defender was at one point the captain of the Czech national Under-21 team and played on the national team in 2000-2002 and in 2004.
The Prague 7 town council has filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court on Friday over the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court instructing the council to hold a public referendum on the location of the council seat. Results of the referendum should answer four questions about how the location of the new seat of the council should be selected. The Supreme Administrative Court ordered the referendum on the basis of a legal complaint brought by residents who were concerns about the over-priced plans for a new council building. The council claims that holding the referendum would threaten its right to self-government.
The Czech Telecommunication Office is set to lower operator charges for mobile calls between different operators to a maximum of 41 hellers per minute, compared to the current 55 heller limit. In the middle of 2013 the upper limit should go down to 27 hellers. The decrease of the operator charge should lower the final cost of the calls, although that decision is up to the individual operators.
At least 10 people have died in Poland in the past few days as a result of methanol poisoning. The police are investigating where the laced alcohol that the victims consumed came from. In some of the cases, there have been speculations that the alcohol may have come from the Czech Republic, where a spate of methanol poisonings in the fall led to the death of over three dozen people. In September, Polish officials banned the import of hard alcohol from the Czech Republic. More than 70 people have been charged in relation to the spiking of alcohol with excessive amounts of methanol in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Union of Film Distributors has announced that so far 31 Czech feature films are scheduled to premier in 2013. Some of the highly anticipated films are Pavel Koutský’s comedic debut called “Hus and those Hussites”, a romantic comedy “Obchodníci” by Tomáš Magnusek and a three-part drama by Agnieszka Holland called “The Burning Bush” that will then be placed into television distribution. Holland’s film, which is schedule to premier in late January, focuses on the aftermath of Jan Palach’s self-immolation and the beginning of the so-called Normalization period in Czechoslovakia.
The Czech under-20 hockey team beat Finland 3:1 in their second match at the World Junior Hockey Championship in the Russian city of Ufa. The victory gave them their first three points at the championship. The young Czechs lost to the defending champions from Sweden on Wednesday. On Sunday, they will face the Latvian team, which is considered to be the weakest one of the group.
Meteorologists have issued warnings over possible ice forming on the roads. The warning was issued for the South Moravian, Zlín, Olomouc, Vysočina and Moravian-Silesian regions starting at six in the evening on Friday. Drivers are asked to be particularly vigilant at night while driving on wet roads.