The police are prosecuting two judges and a court official of the Litoměřice district court, in north Bohemia, on charges of corruption and abuse of power. One of the judges has been detained, the other is being prosecuted at large, a spokeswoman for the regional prosecutor told the ČTK news agency on Sunday. Without giving further details, the spokeswoman said the police were looking into the judges’ rulings in several criminal cases. If convicted, all three would face up to eight years in prison.
Speaking on Czech TV on Sunday, Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek said he expected the Czech economy to slow down to 1-percent GDP growth next year, down from the ministry’s previous estimate of 2.5 percent. The Finance Ministry is to release its official estimate on Monday. Mr Kalousek said that according to the latest forecast, state revenues in 2012 will decrease by between 17 and 18 billion crowns, and that it “made no sense” to revise next year’s state budget because of that. The finance minister warned however that January’s outlook might be even worse.
The film Solar Eclipse (Pod sluncem tma) by Martin Mareček won the award for the best Czech documentary at the 15th International Documentary Film Festival in Jihlava on Saturday night. The film, which confronts the attitudes of Czech aid workers in Zambia with the world of local villagers premiered at the festival where it also won the spectators’ award. It’s the first Czech film shot with a photo camera. The Belgian film Lost Land won the prize for best international documentary while the award for best Central and Easter European documentary went to Bakhmaro by Georgian director Salome Jashi. The Jihlava festival, which the largest such event in the region presented more than 200 films from over 40 countries.
The controversial US lawyer Edward Fagan, who holds bonds issued in 1924 by the town of Karlovy Vary, wants to hand his demands to the town’s mayor on Monday. Mr Fagan earlier said if the town or the Czech Finance Ministry does not negotiate with him, he will take the issue to court. Karlovy Vary Mayor Petr Kulhánek said he would meet with Mr Fagan if he has time.
Edward Fagan says he is one of the holders of bonds the west Bohemian town issued in 1924 in New York. Although part of the bonds were paid off before and after WWII, Mr Fagan wants to cash in on them; their total value today has been estimated at around 500 million US dollars.
The investment group PPF, owned by the richest Czech, Petr Kellner, posted a profit of 150 million euro for the first six months of this year, up from 83 million euro of profit over the same period last year, a spokesman for the company said on Sunday. One of group’s shareholders, Jiří Šmejc, said the profit was mainly driven by the firm’s retail and mining activities in Russia.
The cartoonist Jiří Winter-Neprakta died in Prague on Sunday at the age of 87, the news website novinky.cz reported. Mr Winter Neprakta authored dozens of thousands of cartoons, mainly in collaboration with the writer Miloslav Švandrlík. Born as Jiří Winter in Prague, he was jailed by the Nazis for the possession of weapons. After the war, he briefly studied biology before embarking on a full-time career of cartoonist.
A fire destroyed a bicycle factory hall in the town of Otice, in the north-east of the country, on Saturday night, causing a damage of 15 million crowns. It took fire fighters eight hours to put out the fire, a spokesman for the local fire brigade said. Fire fighter could not get inside and had to pour water on the hall from outside, and managed to save a nearby administrative building. The police are investigating the cause of the fire. The mayor of the town said they offered assistance to the factory’s owners so that they can re-launch production as soon as possible.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová on Sunday won the end-of-season WTA Championships in Istanbul after she beat Viktoria Aznarenka of Belarus in the final 7:5, 4:6, 6:3. Kvitová swept through the tournament and only lost two sets on her way to the final where she dramatically defeated the Belarusian in three sets.
This season has been the best in the 21-year-old Czech player’s career; she won five out of her six WTA titles, including that of Wimbledon. Kvitová’s win at WTA event in Istanbul will also move her up to career-high number two in world rankings.
The next few days will be mostly overcast, with daytime highs of around 12 degrees Celsius.