Police have raided the Mirov jailhouse in search of evidence that the guards were smuggling anabolics to prisoners. The four-day operation ended on Tuesday with the arrest of several people. Two guards, two prisoners and two civilians have so far been charged. A police spokesman said officers on the case gained a significant amount of evidence, including bank statements. One of the guards remains in detention for fear of influencing witnesses, the others were charged and released.
Police are questioning three Dutch nationals who were detained at Václav Havel Airport on Tuesday morning after customs officials found 31 kg of cocaine in their luggage. The group –two men and a woman –arrived from the Dominican Republic. It is not yet clear if the drugs were intended for the Czech market or were to have been smuggled to another destination. The street value of the drugs in their possession is estimated at 60 million crowns.
Interior Minister Jan Kubice will try to reach an out-of-court settlement
with the relatives of a Vietnamese man who died as a result of police
brutality. The victim’s mother is suing the state for her son’s death
and has demanded 50 million crowns in compensation. On Tuesday the court
postponed further hearings until April at her request to give the two
time to reach an out-of-court settlement. Minister Kubice said he thought
the mother wanted moral satisfaction first and foremost and would be
willing to settle for a significantly lower sum if she received a proper
apology from the state.
The incident took place in Brno in 2005. A woman called the police because she thought she had found drugs in her apartment which she shared with 43-year-old Vietnamese man. The man was brutally assaulted by the police and later died of internal injuries in hospital. The officer responsible was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
President Vaclav Klaus is on a two-day visit to neighbouring Slovakia, his last foreign visit before his term in office expires in March. The president is meeting with the country’s top officials and leading members of the Slovak business community. He will also attend a number of social events, including the opening of an exhibition on 20 years of Czech and Slovak independence. Mr. Klaus is accompanied by his wife Livia, who herself is Slovak. Ever since the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993 the two countries’ presidents have made it a tradition to pay their first and last foreign visits in office to the former sister-state as a mark of above-standard relations.
A regional court has served former Znojmo town hall official Vladimir Krejčíř a one year prison sentence and a 100,000 crown fine for corruption and abuse of office. Krejčíř was found guilty of soliciting bribes to influence tenders which he had no say over and channeling sponsors’ gifts to his personal account. Two businessmen who paid him bribe money were given suspended sentences.
The Prague court of appeals has ordered artist David Černý to pay the former head of the National Gallery Milan Knižák 100,000 crowns for insulting him in a Czech TV documentary. Czech Public Television has been ordered to pay the same amount for airing the program. Both the artist and Czech Television have already apologized for the incident. Relations between the two artists have been strained for years.
A batch of meatballs pulled from shelves at IKEA's stores after Czech inspectors discovered they contained horsemeat had been on sale in several European countries, the company's Czech spokesman said on Monday. Petr Chadraba, spokesman for the Swedish furniture chain’s Czech branch, said the batch of meatballs had been on sale in countries including Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Czechs are increasingly unwilling to burden their family budgets with loans, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM agency. Inflation and uncertainty on the job market have made Czech notably more cautions with respect to loans for vacations and consumer goods. According to the poll results 88 percent of respondents said they were no longer willing to take loans on vacations or consumer goods, though 85 percent of them said would do so to finance their housing or start a business. According to statistics 17 percent of Czechs have serious problems repaying their loans.
Two more imported products have been found to contain horsemeat instead of the listed beef and pork. DNA tests showed that Swedish meatballs slated for the Brno IKEA store and one brand of hamburgers produced in Poland were made from horsemeat. More than one ton of the products was confiscated. Last week, horsemeat was found in frozen lasagna that was produced in Luxembourg.
The 65th anniversary of the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia is being marked on Monday by both communists and their opponents. The deputy chairman of the Czech Senate, Přemysl Sobotka, attended a gathering commemorating an anti-communist student march in 1948 which was violently dispersed by communist-run police. Current university students and faculty as well as former students who took part in the march 65 years ago took part in the ceremony on Nerudová street in Prague. Members and supporters of the Communist Party met at the grave of Klement Gottwald, the leader of the 1948 coup and later the country’s first communist president, to honor his memory. Also, hundreds of people attended an anti-communist rally at Prague’s Old Town Square on Monday evening.