Daily news summary News

01-10-2004

Dalik and Vecerek released

Two men who were detained by the police on Thursday on suspicion of attempting to bribe a member of Parliament have been released on the order of a state attorney. The state attorney said on Friday that the police had not presented sufficient grounds for keeping them in custody. Marek Dalik, adviser to opposition Civic Democratic Party leader Mirek Topolanek, and lobbyist Jan Vecerek, are both suspected of attempting to bribe government coalition MP Zdenek Koristka ahead of a crucial vote in Parliament. Last month, Mr Koristka told a leading Czech daily that someone close to the Civic Democrats had offered him the equivalent of 300,000 euros in exchange for a "no" vote of confidence in the government.

Koristka demanding apology from President Klaus

In a related development, Zdenek Koristka has demanded an apology from President Klaus for having labelled him "an unreliable figure" in a statement to the media. Mr. Klaus entered the fray on Thursday, saying he knew Mr. Koristka personally and that he did not consider him to be an altogether reliable figure. Zdenek Koristka underwent a lie detector test recently, which suggested that he was telling the truth. It was on the grounds if this test as well as several testimonies that the police detained the two men on Thursday.

Spolchemie leak angers locals

The chemical plant Spolchemie is responsible for another sulphur oxide leak in the town of Usti nad Labem on Thursday evening. The mentioned gas irritates the eyes and lungs and although the leak was not big enough to cause any serious problems the town's inhabitants are angry that the plant failed to issue an early warning. It is the third leak from the plant this year and the locals are now calling for effective preventative measures.

Czech glass makers relieved

The US will refrain from introducing import duties on glass and glass products from EU member states, according to the deputy prime minister for the economy Martin Jahn. The move would have led many Czech glass making firms into bankruptcy and Czech officials have made a big effort to persuade the US authorities against it. The US is expected to definitively confirm the decision to the World Trade Organization within the next few hours.

Weather:

Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy with scattered showers and day temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius.

01-10-2004