Prague’s public prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová has initiated a check on a
state attorney who is investigating the so-called Stork’s Nest case over
the abuse of EU subsidies, in which Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and other
could face prosecution.
According to Czech Radio, Ms Bradáčová began questioning the work of state attorney Jaroslav Šaroch on the case already last year due to slow pace of work, among other alleged shortcomings.
In May this year, Mr Šaroch rejected a petition from Mr. Babiš and six others facing fraud charges, who argued that the case against them was unfounded.
But while rejected their claim, Mr Šaroch also said that the police investigators’ conclusions were incomplete and not entirely credible.
Mr Babiš was formally charged in October 2017 with fraud in the case, which involves a 2 million euro subsidy to the Stork’s Nest complex a decade ago.
Michal Koudelka, head of the national counterintelligence service BIS, has
rejected an assertion by President Miloš Zeman that the organisation has
failed to catch any spies or present hard evidence of Russian and Chinese
BIS its annual report issued on Monday that spies from those countries are increasingly active in the Czech Republic, working under diplomatic cover, and engaged in spreading disinformation and economic espionage.
The Czech president said BIS presented no proof of this and furthermore had failed to uncover any Islamic terrorists on Czech territory although the police’s national organised crime unit and others had asserted their existence.
Koudelka said in a published statement on Friday that Zeman’s comments were “unfortunate”. The BIS has had a successful year, and, among other things, helped expose and dismantle a Russian intelligence service operating here.
The country’s interior minister, Jan Hamáček, has also rejected the president’s characterisation, heaping praise on the BIS.
Czech industrial production grew by 6.7 percent year on year in October,
after somewhat weaker performance in recent months, data from the Czech
Statistical Office show.
New orders reached double digit growth, suggesting that recent weakness could be related to one-offs.
Manufacturing grew by 7.7 percent, supported by strong automobile production, up 8.8 percent in annual terms after falling in the previous two months.
The number of drug overdoses has been rising steadily along with the use of
opioids, according to the latest annual report by the National Monitoring
Centre for Drugs and Addiction. Last year, 42 people died from drug
overdoses, up from 32 the year before, it says.
Meanwhile, large-scale production of a form of crystal meth known locally as pervitin has moved from the Czech Republic to Poland, but also to Germany and the Netherlands, according to the annual drug report.
The centre also notes a rise in addiction to opioids prescribed for relieving chronic pain. It estimates there are now 35,000 pervitin addicts and 13,000 people addicted to opioids, or about 1,000 more addicts in total.
A Charles University vice-rector is being investigated for plagiarism
following a complaint by several graduate students, the investigative
weekly Respekt reports.
The students charge that Prof. Martin Kovář, who heads the Institute of World History at the university’s philosophical faculty, drew heavily on the work of the late British historian Barry Coward without proper citation.
Specifically, they say that Kovář’s book on the history of Stuart England copies the thematic structure of Coward’s book on the subject, uses passages from it and cites many of the same original sources yet is passed off as stemming from original research.
The doctoral students point to similar problems in two other books by Kovář, who rejects the charges.
This year two government ministers were forced to resign over accusations of plagiarism: Taťána Malá (ANO), who briefly served as Minister of Justice, and Petr Krčál (Social Democrats), who served as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
Recently elected Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera of the opposition
centre-right Civic Democrats has expressed his support for President Miloš
Zeman’s plan to move the Czech embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Mr Kubera’s comments came on Thursday evening following his first meeting with the Czech head of state, held at Prague Castle. He told reporters they had agreed to continue to discuss foreign policy issues together and to continue to promote economic diplomacy.
But the Senate chairman said economic diplomacy should not be limited to China and Russia, countries which President Zeman supports. He said they agreed on increasing the country’s military spending in line with NATO targets.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, says an annual report by the Czech
Republic’s counterintelligence service, BIS, does not contain any
evidence on concrete Russian or Chinese spies in the country. Speaking on
TV Barrandov on Thursday evening, Mr. Zeman described the BIS report as
The counterintelligence service’s study for 2017 said Russian and Chinese spies were spreading disinformation with a view to influnecing public opinion and engaging in economic espionage. It also highlighted the relatively high number of staff at Prague’s Russian Embassy.
The president also said BIS had failed to uncover any Islamic terrorists on Czech territory even though the police’s national organised crime unit and others had asserted their existence.
The Czech Republic have reached the semi-finals of the Floorball World
Championships after easily overcoming Denmark 10:1. The turnout for
Thursday night’s quarter-final at Prague’s O2 Arena was 5,073 and
brought the overall attendance for the current edition of the sport’s
World Championships to a new record high of almost 107,000 with more games
The Czechs will face either Germany or Finland in a semi-final on Saturday, with either of those countries regarded as favourites to defeat the hosts.
The European Parliament will debate possible conflict of interest on the
part of the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, next Wednesday. The motion
was submitted by the European Greens with the support of the European
MEPs are expected to hear the positions of the European Commission and the Council of the EU on the matter. However, they will not pass a resolution on it.
A leaked European Commission report found that the Czech PM was in conflict of interest over moneys handed out to his Agrofert conglomerate.
Critics say that although Mr. Babiš placed Agrofert in a trust fund, he remains the beneficial owner, in breach of Czech and EU law. He denies any wrongdoing.