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25-03-2015

Former police investigated over one of country’s biggest robberies

Three former police officers are being investigated in connection with the robbery of CZK 77 million at Slavkov near Brno in 2006. One of the ex-officers is also suspected of the murder of a member of the team manning the Brink’s security van carrying the money, the head of the police’s organised crime unit said on Wednesday. The body of one of the five-member gang was recently discovered buried near Brno on land owned by another reported suspect. The robbery was one of the biggest in Czech history.

Fourth Metro line expected to cost Prague CZK 45 billion

A project to build a fourth line in Prague’s Metro system will cost up to CZK 45 billion, the CEO of construction firm Metroprojekt, David Krása, told city officials on Wednesday. The price quoted would be for a D line from Náměstí Míru to Písnice; if the city opts for a shorter line starting at Pankrác the price will be CZK 33 billion, Mr. Krása said. Work on the new underground rail line serving the southern part of the Czech capital is projected to begin in 2017 and last for up to six years. Councillor Petr Dolínek said Prague would apply to the government and the EU for financial support for the project.

Constitutional Court rules in favour of exile who lost Brno property

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of a communist-era exile who has been trying to get a house back in the Brno district of Kohoutovice for over two decades. The building was confiscated after Jiří Rábl emigrated illegally in 1981 and later sold to a Communist Party official. A Regional Court in Brno had previously ruled that the property should remain in the hands of its current owner, the Communist’s daughter. The Regional Court must now reconsider the matter.

MP Šarapatka latest exit from disintegrating Dawn party

MP Milan Šarapatka has quit the deputies group of the populist Dawn party, a day after the expulsion of founder Tomio Okamura. A frequent critic of Mr. Okamura’s, Mr. Šarapatka said he was leaving the deputies group over ambiguities in Dawn’s financing and the fact he had been denied access to the results of an audit of its accounts. Some Dawn members led by MP Marek Černoch said last month they would set up a new party “defending national interests” and seeking to cooperate with France’s National Front.

Car production up nearly 6 percent in first two months of year

Car production in the Czech Republic increased by 5.8 percent year-on-year in January and February, according to data released on Wednesday by the Automotive Industry Association. Growth was 7.5 percent in January but slowed the following month. TPCA (comprising Toyota, Peugeot and Citroën) in Kolín recorded by far the biggest increase in production, rolling out around one-third more cars than in the same period in 2014.

Czech That Film fest to begin tour of US Friday

The Czech That Film travelling festival of Czech movies is due to get underway in Los Angeles on Friday. The biggest project of its kind in the United States, it will travel to a total of 18 cities across the country. Fair Play director Andrea Sedláčková and Jiří Mádl, an actor who turned director for To See the Sea, will attend the opening at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California (USC), a Czech official in LA said.

2015 Prague Spring to emphasise contemporary music

This year’s Prague Spring International Music Festival will place an emphasis on contemporary music, organisers say. Among the highlights of the 70th edition of the Czech Republic’s biggest classical music event will be the specially commissioned Lime Symphony by Petr Wajsar and four operas, including a new adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray by the Slovak composer Ľubica Čekovská. Hamburg’s North German Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform the traditional Smetana’s My Country at the festival curtain raiser at Prague’s Municipal House on May 12.

Zdeněk Svěrák to be awarded honourary doctorate

Czech actor and screenwriter Zdeněk Svěrák will be given an honourary doctorate and gold medal by Hradec Králové university on Wednesday for his lifetime contribution to the Czech language. The award ceremony is the culmination of the university’s education week. Svěrák, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-winning film Kolja, originally trained to be a teacher but quit the profession to work at the then Czechoslovak radio at the start of the 1960s. He then went on to launch his acting and writing career.

Petr Čech says Chelsea situation has to be resolved

In football, Czech and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech has said he is not prepared to undergo the same season as the current one with the London club. Čech said that it was not the right time during the winter transfer window to change clubs but he will be looking to do so at the end of the full season if his circumstances at Chelsea do not change. Čech has been second choice ‘keeper for Chelsea after Belgian Thibaut Courtois since the start of this season, playing 14 times in league and cup competitions. He is currently in Prague as the Czech national team prepare for their 2016 European Championship game against Latvia on Saturday.

25-03-2015