Police in Prague are investigating alleged tampering with a car elevator at a Prague apartment building which may be a case of attempted murder. Alena Vitásková, the head of the country’s Energy Regulatory Office, who has regularly received death threats, expressed no doubt that someone had tried to take her life by tampering with the elevator to force its collapse. Mrs Vitásková’s partner was caught in the elevator for several hours on Monday. Mrs Vitaskova has had police protection the last half-a-year, after someone on the highway tried to force her car off the road.
Prague’s Bulovka hospital suffered a cyber attack on Wednesday night. A spokesperson said the hospital’s patients’ data base was not violated but the central information system was switched off for close to 8 hours, necessitating the transfer of some cases to other hospitals. The hospital has filed a criminal complaint against unknown culprits.
Czech and Slovak police have charged at least 19 people suspected of match-fixing and illegal betting in Czech and Slovak soccer leagues and summoned more than 20 others for questioning. Twelve of the players charged with bribe taking are from the Czech Republic. A group of Slovaks reportedly masterminded the match-fixing and illegal betting scam both here in the Czech Republic and neighbouring Slovakia. According to the Slovak police president the group fixed at least 19 matches, among them top-league games, dividing over 200,000 euro among Czech and Slovak players.
Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka has said that if his party does well in the elections, he would try to arrange a one-party minority government with support from other parliamentary parties, including the Communist Party. Mr. Sobotka said his party was not considering scrapping the 1995 Bohumin party conference resolution which bans direct cooperation with the communists on the national level, but that it would seek support from those with whom it could agree on a common policy programme – jump-starting economic growth, creating new jobs, and scrapping direct fees for health care, among others.
The Citizens’ Rights Party–Zemanites’ is torn over the nomination of
controversial political “lobbyist” Miroslav Šlouf to head the
party’s Prague ballot in October’s general elections. The announcement
that Mr. Šlouf had been approved as the party’s Prague leader was
followed by denials and conflicting reports from party insiders throughout
the day while the party leadership remained tight-lipped and called off a
planned press briefing on Thursday night. While insiders suggested the
controversial lobbyist’s nomination was a PR stunt to raise the
profile ahead of the elections, Mr. Šlouf himself said he had accepted
nomination in good faith and was ready to serve the party.
One-time chief political advisor to President Miloš Zeman, Miroslav Šlouf is a highly controversial figure – a former communist believed to have enormous influence and connections to the underworld who has been linked to many political scandals and shady deals. Although he is credited with Mr. Zeman’s election victory, the president has publicly distanced himself from his former advisor.
U.S. Open doubles champion Radek Štěpánek will face Argentina's Juan Monaco in the opening singles of the Czech Republic's Davis Cup semi-final on Friday as the defending champions bid to reach a third final in five years. World number five Tomáš Berdych will then take on Argentine Leonardo Mayer in the second of the opening day's matches in Prague.
The Prague Transport Company has refused a delivery of four new trams from the Skoda Transportation Company due to a series of technical faults, the ctk news agency reports. The company said the trams had serious defects which prevented them from being put to use. It said it had been forced to return trams with similar defects in the past. Skoda Transportation has a contract to deliver 32 new trams to Prague Transport this year. The company has failed to comment on the development.
The centre-right TOP 09 has launched an election campaign in defense of parliamentary democracy. Among the party’s stated priorities are curbing the powers of the president, setting a time-frame for the adoption of the euro and boosting the role of education and culture in society. The party also wants to encourage greater civic and individual responsibility, including measures to curb excessive smoking, drinking and overeating.
A federal court in Alexandria, US, has ruled in favour of extraditing Kevin Dahlgren to the Czech Republic where he is wanted on suspicion of four counts of murder. The twenty-year-old is suspected of having killed four of his Czech relatives with whom he was spending the summer. He fled to the US shortly after the family was murdered in their home in Brno and was arrested on an Interpol warrant at Washington Airport. The court said the evidence against Dahlgren presented by Czech investigators was convincing. The defense has a week to appeal the verdict.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s