David Rath, a former health minister and regional governor sentenced to 8.5
years in prison for corruption, has lost an appeal to overturn the verdict.
The Prague High Court of Appeal on Tuesday confirmed the guilt of Rath, who
when governor of Central Bohemia seven years ago was arrested with millions
of crowns on his person, which prosecutors said was a bribe for rigging
Rath was accused of manipulating tenders for the reconstruction of Buštěhrad Castle in Kladno and an elite high school in Hostivice, as well as for purchasing equipment for a seniors’ home in Kladno and Central Bohemia hospitals. Ten others were indicted on related charges.
The government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is expected to survive a
no-confidence vote in the Czech lower house on Wednesday. Opposition
parties tabled the motion after a preliminary European Commission audit
found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest in connection his business
However, the government will receive sufficient backing from MPs from coalition members ANO and the Social Democrats, as well as the Communists, who support the minority cabinet on key votes.
It is the second time the Babiš government, which was appointed a year ago on Thursday, faces such a challenge in the Chamber of Deputies.
Retired forward Václav Nedomanský will become the second Czech inducted
into ice hockey’s Hall of Fame in Toronto in November. The only Czech to
previously receive this accolade was goaltender Dominik Hašek in 2014.
Nedomanský, who is 75, played for Detroit, New York Rangers and St. Louis in the NHL. He was a member of the Czechoslovak world championship winning team in 1972 and scored 163 goals in 220 games for the national side.
Cardinal Dominik Duka has hit out at Prague’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib, after
the latter compared efforts to return a Marian column to the city’s Old
Town Square to recreating a huge statue of Stalin that stood at Letná
Plain. In a letter, the head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church called on
Mr. Hřib to apologise for his words.
Cardinal Duka said the mayor had failed to realise the meaning of communist dictatorship and what Stalin symbolised.
A group of activists is pushing for the recreation of a Marian column that was torn down in 1918 by protesters who regarded it as a symbol of former Austrian rule. However, they do not have permits to erect a new monument.
The National Library and the Ministry of Culture have signed a memorandum
under which the state has taken control of the rights to “the Blob”, a
futuristic design for a new library building by the late Jan Kaplický.
Under the agreement inked on Tuesday, the architect’s widow has given up
the copyright on the design. However this does not mean that the project
will necessarily now be realised.
The Prague-born, internationally renowned architect Kaplický won an international competition to design a new National Library building in 2007. However, the project ran into objections and the then arts minister said it was too expensive.
President Miloš Zeman says people who have recently been demonstrating
against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are in fact protesting against free
elections. Speaking at the start of a visit to the Vysočina Region, he
said this was in contrast to those who in 1989 demonstrated for free
Mr. Zeman said he did not expect the Babiš government to end until its term concludes in two and a half years’ time. The prime minister’s critics will have to wait until the next elections for change, he said.
Over 250,000 people took part in a protest calling for Mr. Babiš to resign in Prague on Sunday. They say his appointment of a new justice minister soon after police recommended the PM face criminal charges of subsidy fraud creates fears that he could try to interfere in the case.
The oldest drawings on present day Czech territory are lines and
geometrical images created on cave walls by hunters in the early Stone Age,
meaning around 4,200 BC, Právo reported on Tuesday, citing new
Researchers have been examining the drawings, which are on the walls of the Kateřina Cave in the Moravian Karst protected nature reserve. The meaning of the drawings is unclear, they say.
Archaeologist Martin Golec of Palacký University in Olomouc said his team only recently ascertained that the drawings were in fact prehistoric and were not made in the modern age.
An adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel The Prague Orgy shot in the Czech
capital will get a cinema release in October, the producers announced. The
film is helmed by Czech director Irena Pavlásková and stars Canadian
actor Jonas Chernik as Roth’s protagonist, Nathan Zuckerman, while
Russian Ksenia Rappoport is the female lead.
Pavel Kříž plays Zuckerman’s Prague guide and is just one of a number of well-known Czech actors in the movie.
The original novel is based on Roth’s experiences in Prague in the 1970s.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, will attend events in Russia next May
marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. He was invited to
the take part by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose advisor Yuri
Ushakov visited the Czech head of state on Monday.
Mr. Zeman participated in celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Moscow in 2015 and has taken part in similar events at the Russian Embassy in Prague.
Russia marks the end of the war on May 9, a day later than Western European countries. The Czechs previously followed the Russian model but later switched to May 8.