The state prosecutor’s office has recommended that a former Prague imam,
Samer Shehadeh, receive a jail term of 10 years. He is accused of helping
his brother and sister-and-law to travel to Syria to join the terrorist
organisation Al-Nusra Front. Mr. Shehadeh is also charged with sending the
group money via an intermediary several times.
The ex-imam has confessed in a Prague court to helping the couple and to sending money to Syria. However, he said he did not believe those actions were unlawful as he does not recognise the Syrian government and does not view the Al-Nusra Front as terrorist.
Mr. Shehadeh left the Czech Republic in 2017. However, he was later arrested in Jordan on terrorism charges and handed over to the Czech authorities.
The Czech Republic has applied for a conciliation procedure in connection
with EU sanctions for errors in distributing agricultural subsidies.
According to Czech Radio, the sanctions concern EU funds distributed between 2015 and 2017 and stem from an audit conducted three years ago.
The European Commission wants the Czech Republic to return 1.16 billion crowns which was not used for the purpose for which it was granted.
According to the European Commission, the control mechanisms in the Czech Republic are inadequate in this respect.
The Ministry of Agriculture disagrees with the outcome of the audit and wants an independent body to review the case.
A clean-up operation is underway in the wake of wind storm Sabine which
battered parts of the Czech Republic on Monday and is now gradually
Thirty-seven thousand households were still without power on Tuesday morning and rail travel was disrupted by fallen trees.
While rail operators are still providing bus replacement services, Prague’s Vaclav Havel airport, which was forced to cancel several flights on Monday, returned to normal operation on Tuesday morning.
According to preliminary estimates the windstorm damaged around one million cubic metres of forests in state ownership.
One of the most precious items belonging to the National Museum - a Celtic
head sculpture dating back to the Iron Age – was transported from the
museum’s Terezin depository to Olomouc under heavy security, where it is
to be the highlight of a 14-day exhibition of Celtic art.
The male sculpted head from c. 150-50 BC was unearthed in Mšecké Žehrovice, about 65 km northwest of Prague, in 1943.
It is one of the best known works of Celtic art from Iron Age Europe, and, along with the Glauberg "Prince" and the Warrior of Hirschlanden, one of the few large representations of the human figure.
Upon its discovery the sculpture became one of the most photographed art objects ever.
According to preliminary estimates the wind storm Sabine damaged around one
million cubic metres of forests in state ownership. Lesy ČR, a state-
owned company which manages close to half of the country’s forests said
that the worst damage was evident in areas where extensive logging had
taken place due to bark-beetle infestation.
An accurate damage estimate will only be possible when the wind subsides. Lesy ČR has warned people about the danger of venturing into the country’s forests at the present time.
Cybercrime has seen a significant increase in recent years, the Czech
Interior Ministry reported on Monday.
While in 2011 the police registered 1,502 cases of cybercrime, last year it was 8, 417, which amounts to an increase by 460 percent. Other types of crime are slowly dwindling with a 40 percent drop over the same period.
A special task force has been established to deal with cybercrime and particular attention is being devoted to cybercrime targeting minors, the ministry said.
There is a growing interest in Czech visas, the Czech Foreign Ministry
reports, citing a record 813,000 visa applications in 2019. The number
represents a 12. 7 percent increase year-on-year.
The overall revenues from visas could thus reach the one billion crown mark for the first time, the ministry says.
In 2018 it collected 771 million crowns in visa-related fees.
The vast majority of applicants, 91 percent, file for a Schengen visa which allows them to move within the Schengen area without restraint. 5.1 percent of these applicants were rejected.
The ministry says fewer travel restrictions are behind the boost, citing a growing number of tourists from China, India, Saudi Arabia and Belorussia.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose to 3.1 percent in January, up from
2.9 percent in December.
The number of people on the dole rose by 14.490 to 230.000. It is still the lowest January unemployment figure since 1997. Labour offices register just over 341,000 vacancies.
According to labour market experts a rise in the number of unemployed is a typical phenomenon at the start of the year when employers effect lay-offs of people with fixed-term contracts or private entrepreneurs close their businesses.