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State attorney files objection over handling of military spying case

The Olomouc supreme state attorney’s office has filed an objection over a case involving the abuse of the military intelligence service. It contends that a suspended sentence handed to Jana Nagyová for ordering intelligence officers to spy on the now former wife of Petr Nečas – who was then prime minister and Ms. Nagyová's boss and is today her husband – was excessively lenient. The state attorney’s office also objects to the dropping of charges against another defendant. The arrest of Ms. Nagyová was one factor in the fall of Mr. Nečas’s centre-right government in June last year.

Czech GDP growth in first quarter higher than original estimate and highest since crisis

Czech gross domestic product grew by 2.9 percent year on year and 0.8 percent quarter on quarter in the first three months of this year. The revised figures, released on Tuesday, are higher than a previous estimate published four weeks ago. The growth rate was the highest since the 2008 financial crisis. It has been attributed to rising domestic and foreign demand, particularly from Germany, and a very low base last year.

Šafářová reaches semis at Wimbledon with Czechs guaranteed finalist

The Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová has reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon after defeating Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-3 on Tuesday. Šafářová, who is seeded 23rd, shed tears of joy after her win, which she described as the greatest moment of her career to date. In the semi-finals she will play one of two compatriots, 2011 winner Petra Kvitová or Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová. The Czech women have had an unusually successful Wimbledon and are now guaranteed to have a player in the final.

Mental health group: Violent methods still used in Czech psychiatric care

The international organisation Mental Disability Advocacy says violent methods continue to be used in psychiatric care in the Czech Republic. In the 10 years since the group’s last report little has changed, it said, with metal cages on beds in mental hospitals merely being replaced by nets. In addition, leather straps are used to subdue patients. The Czech League of Human Rights has called for an end to such practices. However, psychiatrists say the report has been taken out of context, the Czech News Agency reported.

Police call firearms amnesty

The police have called a six-month long firearms amnesty during which people can surrender unlicensed weapons without fear of reprisals. It is the fourth such amnesty since 1996 and each undertaking still nets a considerable amount of weapons. During the last amnesty in 2009 people surrendered over 7,000 illegally held firearms. The amnesty enables people to legalize their weapons after they have been inspected by experts. The amnesty is in force from July 1st until the end of the year.

Five charged with illegal transfer of over CZK 10 billion out of Czech Republic

The Czech police have charged five people with the illegal transfer of money out of the Czech Republic, mainly to Asia, a spokesperson for the force’s anti-corruption unit said on Tuesday. The amount involved has been put at over CZK 10 billion over four years. Detectives say that the money transfer was connected to the sale of goods on Asian markets that the accused did not pay tax on. The five, who police say used front companies based in Cyprus, are also accused of money laundering. The case is linked to the previous charging of 25 Czechs and Vietnamese in May last year.

Court rejects appeal from man who poured slivovice on girlfriend and set her alight

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from a man who set fire to his girlfriend. Ladislav Kovařík received a 10-year prison term for attempted murder after, in a state of inebriation, pouring slivovice over his girlfriend and putting a cigarette to her in a Brno lodging house in April this year. The woman spoke in Mr. Kovařík’s defence, saying it had been an accident, but the court accepted the testimony of other witnesses.

Jiří Fajt to be appointed head of National Gallery

Art historian Jiří Fajt is to be appointed head of the National Gallery in Prague on Tuesday. The prestigious art institution has been under provisional management for over a year following the sacking of its former director Vladimir Rosel. Jiří Fajtl was handpicked for the post by then culture minister Alena Hanáková who was criticized for not holding an open competition for the position. His appointment was put off several times.

Czechs relatively feminist nation, suggests international poll

Czechs are a relatively feminist nation, suggests an international opinion poll by the Ipsos agency quoted by the Czech News Agency. Some 66 percent of Czech men surveyed said they definitely agreed or tended to agree with the statement “I am a feminist, i.e., somebody who defends and supports equal opportunities for women”. The figure for Czech women was 65 percent. Only the Italians ranked ahead of the Czech Republic in the survey, which was carried out in 15 states earlier this year.

More Czech institutions get Google Open Gallery treatment

Nine more galleries and museums in the Czech Republic have been given a virtual online presence through Google Cultural Institute technology. Prague’s Kampa Museum and the National Gallery were already accessible via the system, which puts institutions’ collections online as well as creating virtual tours of the spaces in question. They have been joined by the Václav Havel Library, Prague’s Jewish Museum, the Moravian Gallery in Brno and six other institutions.