Police on Wednesday received confirmation from the lower house that they can launch criminal proceedings against the ANO party leader, Andrej Babiš, and his deputy Jaroslav Faltýnek, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday citing spokeswoman Štěpánka Zenklová of the Metropolitan Public Prosecutor's Office in Prague.
The police had asked the lower house to waive the deputies’ parliamentary immunity with regard to the so-called Stork’s Nest affair, where a company belonging to Babiš‘ large agro-chemical group Agrofert applied for a 50 million crown European grant for work on a recreation and hotel complex. The fund was intended to help small and medium sized companies.
The Chamber of Deputies is on Wednesday meeting for the final time in its current line-up. The next time MPs will gather in the lower house of the Czech Parliament will be after elections in the second half of October.
Among the deputies who are not running for re-election are ANO’s Jiří Zlatuška, Martin Komárek, former minister of justice Helena Válková and current minister of finance Ivan Pilný. Another well-known face certain not to return to the 200-seat house after the elections is Jeroným Tejc of the Social Democrats.
The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday ratified the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada.
The deal removes customs duties and industrial fees between EU countries and Canada, which would make Czech entrepreneurs more active on the Canadian market.
The sectors that could benefit most from the CETA agreement in the Czech Republic are engineering, metallurgy and the chemical industry.
The United States have re-sold old weapons from central and Eastern Europe to Syria, despite guaranteeing to be the end user, the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism reported on Wednesday. Some of the weapons were reportedly purchased in the Czech Republic. According to the Czech journalists, who cooperated with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, such a procedure would be a breach of the arms trade agreement. The report, which cites publicly available documents, claims that the American Defence Ministry bought assault rifles, mortar shells and other military technique worth 500 billion crowns and subsequently re-sold them to Syrian rebels fighting ISIS.
The Czech Film and television Academy has selected Bába z ledu or Ice Mother, a new feature film by acclaimed director Bohdan Sláma, as the Czech candidate for the 2018 Academy Awards.
The romantic comedy, shot in a Czech-Slovak-French coproduction, has won the Best Script award in the category of foreign films at the Tribeca film festival in New York.
The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced in January and the ceremony itself will take place on March 3, 2018, in Los Angeles.
The digitally restored version of Miloš Forman’s debut feature Černý Petr or Black Peter is set to have its premiere in Prague on Thursday at Kino Lucerna.
The restoration was undertaken by the Czech National Film Archive, in cooperation with cinematographer Jan Malíř and sound designer Pavel Rejholec, along with Ivan Passer, who worked on the film as assistant director.
The new digital version of Black Peter premiered earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival, where it won an award 53 years ago. On Thursday, it will be screened in Kolín, where it was shot in the summer of 1963.
Thursday is set to be cloudy with occasional rain showers and daytime temperatures ranging between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.