The Prague 9 district court acquitted the Social Democratic Prague
councilman Karel Březina, who was accused of withholding information
his place on the board of companies which were in bankruptcy proceedings
while joining the supervisory board of Prague’s Public Transit Company,
which constitutes fraud under Czech law. The district court ruled, though,
that Mr Březina did not intentionally commit a crime. The prosecution
immediately appealed the verdict.
Mr Březina was deputy to the mayor until 2011, when the coalition city government of the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 was formed. In the same year he was acquitted on fraud charges for the first time.
Lufthansa airlines have announced that it will cancel most of their flights inside Europea on Thursday due to a planned employee strike over salaries. Passengers are advised that Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf flights from and to Prague will most likely be cancelled in the first part of the day. The strike is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m., Central European time.
Gazprom Germania, a subsidiary of Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom, and MND, which is part of KKCG group belongs to Czech billionaire Karel Komárek, have signed a contract to build an underground gas storage facility in Dambořici in southern Moravia, worth 2.5 billion crowns. The two companies plan to pay half of the investment each. The storage facilities, which should be opened in the middle of 2016, will be able to hold 448 million cubic meters of gas.
Police have shelved a criminal complaint taken by the team of defeated candidate Karel Schwarzenberg over a full-page advertisement that appeared in the tabloid Blesk on the eve of the second and final round of a presidential election in January, the website Tyden.cz reported. The ad urged voters not to support Mr. Schwarzenberg, an aristocrat who spent much of his life in Austria, and highlighted his disagreement with the post-war expulsion of Czechoslovakia’s German populace. The candidate’s team said the advert contravened the electoral law. It was paid for by lawyer Vladimír Zavadil, who was a secret police officer under the Communist regime.
The Czech Mint in Jablonec nad Nisou is to issue a collection of four gold and silver medals in tribute to the late graphic artist Oldřich Kulhánek, who designed the country’s banknotes, the news site iDnes.cz reported. In recent years, Kulhánek – who died earlier this year at the age of 72 – had been working with the national mint on large gold medals bearing motifs from banknotes; the same motifs will appear on the miniatures currently being produced.
The energy giant CEZ has struck a huge deal with Czech Coal under which the latter will supply it with fuel for its Počerady power station. The contract, which follows lengthy negotiations, is valued at around CZK 200 billion and will run until 2060. The deal also includes an option for Czech Coal to buy Počerady in the future, though the price has not been revealed. It is one of the biggest transactions ever seen on the Czech market.
The biggest party in the coalition government, the Civic Democrats, would only win 22 places in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies if an election were held this month, suggests an opinion poll just conducted by the STEM agency. The opposition Social Democrats, who also came first at the last election, would be clear winners with 84 MPs, the survey indicates; next would be TOP 09 with 44 seats, followed by the Communist Party with 22. The Christian Democrats and the Citizens’ Rights Party-Zemanites would also win seats in the lower house.
People in the north Bohemian village of Roudníky have been angered by an advertisement from a real estate agency offering for sale the local church, complete with a mortuary and a cemetery containing around 50 graves, the website Tyden.cz reported. The parish went bankrupt two years ago after an investment in a sawmill proved unsuccessful. One man told Tyden.cz that his great-grandparents, parents and parents-in-law were buried there; he said he could understand the sale of the church, but not the graveyard.
A group surrounding wealthy businessman Karel Janeček have filed a criminal complaint against the Czech prime minister, Petr Nečas, for countersigning a controversial amnesty declared by former president Václav Klaus at the start of the year. Mr. Janeček had previously called on members of the Senate to file a treason complaint against President Klaus at the Constitutional Court in connection with the amnesty, which they did a few days before he stepped down a fortnight ago. Responding to the latest move, Mr. Nečas said filing criminal complaints was becoming the Czech national sport. The most controversial aspect of the presidential amnesty saw some cases involving alleged large-scale corruption halted.
Vlastimil Picek has become the Czech Republic’s minister of defence, after being officially named by President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday morning. Mr. Picek, who is not party-affiliated, was chief of the general staff of the Czech Army for five years and had been serving as first deputy defence minister. His appointment comes three months after the sacking of his predecessor Karolína Peake, who lasted only a week in the post. Prime Minister Petr Necaš held the defence portfolio in the interim. President Zeman said he respected the general as an expert who was familiar with the problems of his ministry.
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”