In related news, a day earlier, the president received backing from some of his more vocal supporters within the Civic Democratic Party, but also from his former political rival Miloš Zeman, the president-elect who will be sworn in this week. Mr Zeman called the move by the Senate against the outgoing head-of-state this week a “hysterical reaction”.
Czech news servers that came under a series of cyber assaults on Monday, which slowed or crashed home pages on the internet, are no closer to learning who the instigator may have been, CTK reports. According to the news agency, Seznam which operates Novinky estimates the attack came from an IP address in Europe, while Economia, which operates the website ihned.cz suggested it came from further afield, in Africa. Among those affected were also idnes.cz and lidovky.cz .No one has yet claimed responsibility. IT experts say the hackers flooded the websites with digital requests overwhelming their systems.
The controversial New Year’s amnesty declared by President Václav Klaus will not come under further scrutiny by the country’s Constitutional Court, the court’s general secretary Ivo Pospíšil confirmed on Tuesday. No official reason was given. The court dismissed a proposal by a group of senators calling for Article 2 of the amnesty to be struck down; the article halts or threatens to halt high-profile corruption and fraud cases that have languished in the courts between eight and 10 years, with potential sentences of up 10 years in prison. Four judges of the court, including chairman Pavel Rychetský, differed in their opinion. Discussed was whether the court could at all revise a presidential amnesty. The court just last month rejected a proposal that the entire amnesty be struck down. The amnesty halted 327 criminal proceedings at the beginning of the year and saw some 6,500 prisoners released.
President Václav Klaus has said he is convinced the complaint against him was not motivated by any actions or actual wrongdoing on his part. Earlier, Mr Klaus had suggested the move to press charges for treason was an attempt by his political opponents to tarnish his presidency. If the Constitutional Court were to find that actions taken by Mr Klaus constituted treason, he would, under normal circumstances, suffer the loss of office. But given that the president steps down this week, such an outcome would be a mere formality. At the same time, some observers have noted that such a ruling could significantly weaken Mr Klaus’ political influence into the future.
The Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has won her first WTA title. The 20-year-old recovered from a poor start to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 1-6 7-5 6-3 in the final of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. It was the first time that Plíšková, ranked 127th in the world, had reached the final of a WTA tournament.
The police have shelved an investigation into the publication of the mobile telephone numbers of politicians by the provocative art group Ztohoven, Lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. While the police say no crime was committed, they have passed the matter on to the Office for the Protection of Personal Data, the news site said. In November, Ztohoven invited visitors to a Prague gallery to send anonymous messages to the country’s politicians on an untraceable mobile phone. The group have frequently come into conflict with the law; one member, Roman Týc, was imprisoned for a month last year after amending traffic lights to show the red and green figures in various poses.
The Czech runner Pavel Maslák has taken gold in the 400 metres at the European Indoor Championships in Sweden’s Gothenburg. In doing so, Maslák – who was in front for virtually the entire race on Sunday – set a new national record of 45.66 seconds; that was also the fastest time achieved in Europe this season.
The head of the Civic Democrats’ senators group, Jaroslav Kubera, says a cross-party motion to file a treason complaint against Václav Klaus is intended to vilify the outgoing president in such a way that he quits politics. Speaking on a TV debate show ahead of a vote on the motion on Monday, Mr. Kubera said his Senate colleagues were “going after a fly with a shotgun”. The challenge’s backers want the Constitutional Court to rule on whether Mr. Klaus acted unconstitutionally in connection with a controversial amnesty and other steps. For his part, Jiří Dientsbier – one of those behind the move – said the aim was not to punish Mr. Klaus but to make clear that the Senate would not stand for unconstitutional behavior. The president, who is 71, steps down on Thursday after a decade in office.
Sunday is the 130th anniversary of the birth of the internationally renowned Czech photographer František Drtikol. Drtikol, who studied in Munich, is known for his portraits, frequently of important people, and nudes, with his use of geometric decorations and shadows in composite portraits of nudes reflecting avant-garde trends in the interwar period. While interested in esoteric philosophy, he was also an active member of the Communist Party in the latter years of his life.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”