Hackers on Tuesday targeted the website of the Czech Republic’s UniCredit Bank, Živě.cz writes; the cyber attack is allegedly not related to similar incidents that hit Czech websites in recent days, targeting other sites such as financial institutions, media, search engines and telecommunications providers. The attack against UniCredit was apparently facilitated by an administrator’s weak password of ‘Banka123’. The hacked site “apologised” to clients for “losing all their funds”. The spokesman for the bank confirmed that the claim was false: no other areas – such as e-banking – were affected. The site is now running normally.
Prague’s High Court has confirmed an earlier decision by the regional court in Plzeň to reject the release of prisoner Jaroslav Šrubař under the New Year’s amnesty. In 2006, Mr Šrubař, then a fugitive, was sentenced to nine years in prison for tax evasion in the hundreds of millions of crowns as well as for kidnapping and blackmail. The case has lasted more than eight years, according to the Czech news agency. In 2011 Šrubař gave himself up, asking for a new trial. In January of this year, when former president Václav Klaus declared the amnesty (affecting minor crimes and cases lasting eight years or more) Šrubař’s case remained unresolved. Tuesday’s ruling confirms in practice that cases lasting eight years or more due to a suspect avoiding justice will not be covered by the amnesty.
Prague City councillors on Tuesday are to discuss a plan that should lead to the easing of traffic along the Smetana embankment in the Czech capital. Under the proposal being tabled, the embankment would be closed to motor vehicles every Saturday beginning in mid-May and lasting until the end of June. The local tram route would not be affected. The Smetana embankment runs along the Vltava River close to the city’s historic centre, between the Charles Bridge and Legion Bridge; it features a bike path that continues on to Podolí and further out of the city.
Czech men’s number one Tomáš Berdych has advanced to the fourth round at tennis’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Berdych, who is ranked sixth in the world, reached the last 16 after a 6–4 6–1 win over Florian Mayer of Germany. The 27-year-old lost serve in the very first game, but immediately broke Mayer’s serve and went on to dominate the match. His next opponent will be Richard Gasquet of France.
The new Czech president, Miloš Zeman, took up office at Prague Castle on
Monday, three days after being sworn in. The head of state’s first tasks
included a meeting with Czech diplomats, whom he told he support
international trade and would bring delegations of Czech businessmen with
him on foreign trips. Mr. Zeman also told members of the diplomatic corps
that combating terrorism was the common task of the international
On Wednesday, Mr. Zeman will meet the governors of the Czech Republic’s 13 regions. However, he has turned down an invitation from Prime Minister Petr Nečas to attend a government session on Wednesday, the first since he assumed office.
Mr. Zeman’s designated chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has said he will remain a member of the president’s Citizens’ Rights Party-Zemanites. However, he will not stand for re-election as party chairman. On Monday morning, the future head of the President’s Office told Czech Radio that he would discuss with senior party members how to make the maximum use of his new post to benefit the Zemanites. Mr. Mynář’s comments have been condemned by members of the Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats, the biggest parties in Parliament.
MP David Rath may be released from custody after his wife and father posted bail of CZK 2 million set by the Prague West district court. An official for the court said it had received the money and would discuss his release at a hearing on Friday morning. However, as the state attorney has filed a complaint against the bail procedure, the superior Central Bohemian Regional Court will also have to rule on whether Mr. Rath can be released. The former Social Democrat governor of Central Bohemia and a one-time health minister, he was arrested last May on corruption charges.
The minister of justice, Pavel Blažek, has suspended Prague judge Ondřej Havlín, who stands accused of corruption. Mr. Blažek said the judge would not be allowed to return to court while he remains under investigation. Justice Havlín, a former diplomat, is being held on remand at the request of the senior state attorney, Lenky Bradáčová. State attorney František Fiala is also being along with a number of other people in conjunction with the alleged rigging of verdicts.
The Czech economy contracted by 1.2 percent last year, according to a revised official estimate released on Monday. Gross domestic product declined by 1.7 percent year-on-year in the final quarter of last year, and analysts believe there was a further contraction in the first quarter of this year. The country is currently going through the longest recession on record and the forecast for the whole of 2013 is for continued decline or at best stagnation.