Judges from the Supreme Court have ruled that wire taps used in the prosecution case against former top Social Democrat politician David Rath were permissible as evidence. The latest ruling overturns a surprise decision by Prague’s High Court last year which questioned the use of the evidence. The Supreme Court did not explicitly though tell the lower court how it should use the evidence when it returns to the case. The case focuses on Rath’s period as Central Bohemia regional governor and payments for tenders. He has already been sentenced on some of the charges to eight and a half years in prison. That sentence has been appealed. Rath also served as minister of health.
The state export insurance and guarantee provider, EGAP, has said it is relaxing what has been effectively a freeze on export help to Ukraine and Belarus. Help to all but the smallest projected stopped to Ukraine in February 2014 due to the conflict in the east of the country. Help to Belarus was curbed due to the economic situation and the poor payment record of local companies. That has improved, according to the Czech agency. Although export help will now be offered, the two countries are still regarded as high risk with an annual ceiling put on the amounts of credits and guarantees offered.
The lower house of the Czech parliament has passed a ban on fur farms following a stormy debate. The ban should take effect from the end of January 2019 after an attempt to put it back failed. Around nine such farms, mostly raising mink and foxes, are present in the Czech Republic. The owners can claim compensation from the state. The ban was backed by a petition signed by 46,000 people. Opponents of the ban warn that illegal farms could be created where the state has no oversight over the animals’ welfare.
Organisers on Wednesday unveiled details of an exhibition devoted to the life of legendary Czech singer Karel Gott. The exhibition, Karel Gott, My Life ,which opens to the public on June 8 and lasts until September 30, aims to be Prague’s exhibition event of the year. It has been staged in a specially constructed floating exhibition centre on the Vltava river and comprises items from the singer himself, museums, and private collections which illustrate his life and success. The exhibition might later be moved to Germany where Gott has a huge fan base.
A Brno fertility clinic has been fined 800,000 crowns for mixing up the eggs of two women who were undergoing treatment. The error was found when they were already in an advanced state of pregnancy. The fine was handed down by the State Authority for the Control of Drugs, the regulator in this instance. The company, Reprofit, can appeal. The mistake, affective two women from other EU countries, was discovered in November last year. An investigation found the switch was due to human error. The Czech Republic has a thriving business for fertility treatment.
Industrial production in April advanced at an annual rate of 5.9 percent taking into account the number of working days. With those factored out, there was actually a fall of 2.5 percent. The value of new orders coming in declined by 3.2 percent in April with the biggest fall orders from outside the Czech Republic.
Chairman Bohuslav Sobotka says the Social Democrats need to pull themselves together and begin leading a proper election campaign after an opinion poll put the party on 10 percent support and in fourth place. The prime minister told Wednesday’s edition of Právo that his party needed to stop focusing on itself and speculating about what would follow October’s general elections. Mr. Sobotka said the current, Social Democrat-led government was extraordinarily successful and had clearly improved the country in four years. A poll by the Kantar TNS agency released on Sunday put the Social Democrats behind ANO (on 31.5 percent), the Civic Democrats (11.5 percent) and the Communists (10.5 percent).
Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic was seen by over 660,000 people during a three-month exhibition in Japan that concluded on Monday. Jan Wolf, a councillor for the City of Prague, which owns the cycle of paintings, said at least 12,000 visitors a day had seen them during the last six days of the show. Mr. Wolf said the most optimistic forecast for total attendance had been around 300,000. The Slav Epic is set to return to the Czech Republic on June 21. It is not yet clear whether it will be loaned out again.
Police have detained 17 people charged with supplying chemicals for the production of the drug pervitin and the creation of a lab to produce it. Police estimated the lab had produced several tonnes of the drug and that the network was one of the major suppliers to domestic drug makers. Drugs produced supplied Germany, Poland, Austria, Scandinavia as well as the domestic market. Police described it as one of the most significant drug swoops in the last decade. The detained could face up to 12 years in prison if guilty.
It will be sunny across most of the country on Thursday. Top temperatures will range between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius.