Daily news summary News

02-10-2004

President refuses to apologise to MP at centre of alleged bribery scandal

President Vaclav Klaus has refused to apologise to MP Zdenek Koristka, who claims people acting on behalf of Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek tried to bribe him to bring down the government. The MP wrote to the president on Friday asking for an apology, after Mr Klaus publicly described him as "not completely trustworthy".

Meanwhile, the two men arrested on Thursday on charges of trying to bribe Mr Koristka were released from custody a day later, after the state attorney rejected a police request to hold them on remand.

Zdenek Koristka says Marek Dalik and Jan Vecerek, acting on behalf of Mr Topolanek, offered him 10 million crowns (around 300,000 euros) to bring down the government, which has a majority of just one, in a confidence vote. The Civic Democrats strenuously deny the allegations.

Certain causes of death more common in Czech Republic than EU average

Figures released by Eurostat show the number of deaths caused by cancer, heart disease, suicide and road accidents is higher in the Czech Republic than the European Union average. The number of suicides is particularly striking: 25 per 100,000 citizens, which is twice the average in the EU.

Prague mental hospital expected to house children who commit serious crimes

A special institution for children who have committed serious crimes is likely to be set up at the Czech Republic's best-known mental hospital, Bohnice in Prague, the daily Pravo reported on Saturday. A spokesperson for Bohnice said the hospital was prepared to take on the project. The issue of how to deal with serious offenders under the age of criminal responsibility, which in the Czech Republic is 15, arose following a series of gruesome crimes by minors.

Czechs officially ask Israel to extradite man over Prague grenade attack

The Czech Republic has officially asked Israel to extradite an Israeli citizen wanted in connection with a grenade attack on a casino owner in Prague at the beginning of August. An Israeli court will now decide whether to extradite the man, who is 27 and originally from the former Soviet Union. Eighteen people, mostly foreign tourists, were injured in the attack, which was believed to be part of a feud between Israeli crime gangs.

Two policemen, other driver die in car crash

Two police officers and the driver of another vehicle were killed in a car crash in Prostejov, south Moravia, in the early hours of Saturday morning. A police spokesperson said the two officers had probably been breaking the speed limit when the accident occurred.

Popular Czech rock group Lucie play sold-out show in London

One of the Czech Republic's most popular rock bands, Lucie, played a concert at the London venue Sheperd's Bush Empire on Friday night. Most of the 1400 people in attendance at the sold-out event were from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Banik Ostrava football club face sanctions over crowd trouble

Banik Ostrava football club are to be punished by European football's governing body UEFA, following crowd trouble at a UEFA Cup game between Ostrava and English club Middlesbrough on Thursday. Banik have been found guilty of inadequate segregation and failing to prevent fighting in their stadium during the game.

Jiri Novak knocked out in semi-finals at tennis's Shanghai Open

Czech tennis number one Jiri Novak has been beaten 6-1 6-2 by Guillermo Canas of Argentina in the semi-final of the Shanghai Open. Novak described Saturday's defeat as "a bad day at the office".

Weather

Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy with occasional showers. Temperatures should range from 15 to 19 degrees Celsius.

02-10-2004