The Prague police have recommended to the state prosecutor to indict an editor at the weekly magazine Reflex, Jiří X. Doležal, and the former deputy editor-in-chief Jaroslav Plesl for propagating the use of drugs. The police charged both men in August after an edition of the magazine came out containing a blurry picture, which was supposed to appear in focus once the reader smoked marijuana. The magazine also contained cigarette rolling papers and a notice on the front cover indicating that they were to be used to roll a marihuana joint. Mr. Doležal was the author of the article, and Mr. Plesl was at the time of printing filling in for the editor-in-chief. If the state attorney chooses to prosecute the case, the two men could face up to five years in jail or a fine if found guilty.
The Czech police have arrested six Vietnamese and three Austrian citizens over the sale of methamphetamine, a spokeswoman for the anti-drug unit of the police said. The Vietnamese face accusations of selling the illicit drug to foreign nationals at a marketplace in Kaplice, in southern Bohemia; the Austrians allegedly resold the drug in Austria. During several house searches, the police seized 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of two million crowns. The detained foreign nationals face up to 12 years in prison.
Former head of the Kladno hospital and a co-defendant in the David Rath corruption case, Kateřina Pancová, will be let out on bail after spending the last 16 months in police custody. Ms. Pancová is being tried together with former Central Bohemian governor and nine other people in a large-scale corruption case involving bribe taking and manipulation of tenders. The Prague Regional Court agreed to release Ms. Pancová in early September, but on Friday it finalized the decision by rejecting the State Prosecutor’s appeal which claimed she was at flight risk. Mr. Rath and another key defendant, former MP Petr Kott, remain in custody.
Doctors at Prague’s IKEM institute have for the first time successfully split a donated liver between two adult patients, a spokeswoman for the facility said. The operation took place on Monday when doctors transplanted the split liver to a man and a woman, a married couple who had suffered mushroom poisoning. The spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of a similar operation - splitting liver between two adult patients - being carried out anywhere in the world before.
More than a third of all the weapons exports from the Czech Republic last year went to countries which gravely violate human rights, according to a report released by the Czech branch of the advocacy group Amnesty International (AI). The study shows that of the 6.8 billion crown total arms exports, 38.6 percent were sold to countries without a democratically controled of the military, independent courts or police force and with authoritarian style of government. AI included countries such as Yemen, Egypt and Algeria on that list. The percentage of weapons exports to such countries increased by more than 4 percentage points since 2011.
Historians believe that they have found a fragment of the last surviving holy relic of the Czech patron saint Václav, or Wenceslaus. According to the curator of the Prague Castle collections, Milena Bravermanová, a small gilded cross made of iron netting, which is currently on the Saint Jiří gonfalon, was most likely part of St. Václav’s banner. The technique used to make the cross is almost identical to the one that was used to make the Prince of Bohemia’s armor, which Czech scientists have been examining for the past few years. Saturday is a state holiday that marks the anniversary of Václav’s death in 935, when he was allegedly stabbed by his brother Boleslav.
Prague Municipal Court gave the former head of the the Regional Council of the South-East Cohesion Region Jiří Trnka and his colleague Martin Půlpytel suspended three-year sentences for illegally manipulating European funding. Both men are accused of deliberately influencing the selection of projects for the 2009 Regional Operational Program funding call in order to secure equal funding for the Plzeň and the South Bohemian regions. The court also ruled that both men are prohibited from working with state funding, Mr. Trnka for five years and Mr. Půlpytel for four. Both deny the accusations and will most likely appeal the verdict.
A section of the main Czech D1 motorway between Prague and Brno will be closed several times on Saturday as a new bridge will be constructed at the site, the Transport Ministry said. A 10-kilometre long stretch between Loket and Hořice in central Bohemia will be closed for four 1.5-hour periods starting at 8 PM on Saturday. Cars and vans will be diverted to an alternate route while trucks will have to wait for the road to reopen.
The board of directors of Prague’s transit authority on Thursday accepted the resignation of the firm’s CEO, Milan Křístek, a day he offered to step down. Mr Křístek was planning to leave his post by the end of November but the head of the board said that due to ongoing problems of the company, his resignation was accepted without further delay. Commentators say Mr Křístek’s decision to offer his resignation was motivated by waning support he felt from Prague City Hall, the company’s owner over his plans for the company, including increasing the prices of tickets for Prague’s metro, trams and buses.
Top Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová beat Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinal of an WTA tournament in Tokyo on Thursday and advanced to the event’s semifinals. The seventh-seeded Czech first defeated Madison Keys in the delayed third-round game on Thursday before taking on the Russian player later in the day. Another Czech, Lucie Šafářová lost to fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-2, 3-6, 2-6 and has been knocked out of the tournament.
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