Czech MEPs have called for the immediate release of a Czech aid worker jailed in Sudan on charges of conspiring against the state. Petr Jašek, 52, has been imprisoned since last December for making a video showing the persecution of Christians in the Islamic country. The Czech Foreign Ministry’s efforts to get him released have not met with success. The trial of Jašek, and three others who face similar charges, started in August but was repeatedly postponed. International observers familiar with the case say their fate is highly uncertain since Sudan’s legislation includes elements of Sharia.
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka have sent their Slovak counterparts condolences on the death of former Slovak president Michal Kováč. In a letter to his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, Mr. Sobotka praised Michal Kováč’s contribution to maintaining exceptionally close ties between the Czech and Slovak nations. President Zeman described him as a wise and brave statesman such as Europe needed more of. Michal Kováč, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 86, was the first president of independent Slovakia following the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993.
Grandi Stazioni has lost its 30-year lease of the Main Railway Station in Prague, where it was supposed to complete a general reconstruction by October 2016. The original deadline, in 2013, was repeatedly extended and Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration has rejected a request for another two-year extension. It has officially requested that Grandi Stazioni vacate the premises.
A Prague court of appeal has rejected a property claim by Ernst Waldstein-Wartenberg pertaining to real estate in Prague’s prestigious Lesser Town. The buildings in Malá Strana and Hradčany were confiscated by the state on the grounds of the Benes decrees. The court of appeal upheld an earlier ruling by a Prague district court, according to which the claimant failed to meet the requirements of the law on restitution.
The Czech company FAU which was to guarantee the transport of Czech oil reserves from Germany is deep in debt and may face insolvency proceedings, Czech Radio reported on Thursday. According to the company’s lawyer, Alfred Šrámek, the start of bankruptcy proceedings would put the operation at risk. FAU was to transport over 80 million liters of crude oil from the storage facility of the bankrupt Viktoriagruppe company in Germany’s Krailling, a process expected to take between six and eight months. The transfer was delayed by a drawn out dispute between the Czech State Material Reserves Administration and Viktoriagruppe's insolvency administrator Mirko Mollen over the ownership of the crude oil. The Czech Republic was later given the go ahead to proceed with the transport.
Police have issued an Interpol arrest warrant on a Czech man who is suspected of having knowingly spread the HIV virus. The man, who is believed to have infected at least three people, fled the country shortly before the police filed charges. His last known destination was Thailand. The man was allegedly informed he was HIV positive in 2013 but continued to seek out one-night stands on a gay dateline and failed to inform his partners about the risk. If convicted he could face up to twelve years in jail.
Friday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain in places and daytime highs reaching 10 degs Celsius. Fresh snow is expected in areas located six hundred degrees above sea level. Krkonoše Mountain resorts report 25 cm of fresh snow on the ground.