Daily news summary News

21-06-2005

PM calls on police chief to consider future after man escapes from police custody

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has called on police president Jiri Kolar to consider resigning, after a man escaped from police custody during a search of his house last weekend. Mr Paroubek also said the police officers who allowed businessman Radovan Krejcir to escape should be punished. On Monday the interior minister, Frantisek Bublan, said there was some evidence that Mr Krejcir had fled the Czech Republic. The fugitive faces charges of fraud and tax evasion amounting to almost three billion Czech crowns (around 120 million US dollars). He is also suspected of planning a murder. Both Czech and international warrants for his arrest have been issued.

Communists pledge support for referendum on EU constitution

Prime Minister Paroubek has secured the support of the Communist Party for his plans to hold a referendum on the European Union constitution next June. He needs their support to push a bill on the referendum through parliament. In meeting the party's leader Miroslav Grebenicek the prime minister confirmed his policy of talking to all opposition parties, including the Communists.

The prime minister has just set off on a week-long trip to Japan and China.

Email scam victim gets prison term for shooting Nigerian Embassy official

A pensioner who killed an official at the Nigerian Embassy in Prague two years ago has received an eight-year prison sentence. Jiri Pasovsky lost 15 million Czech crowns (over 600,000 US dollars) in a Nigerian email investment scam. In an effort to retrieve his money the retired doctor set up a meeting at the embassy, during which he pulled out a pistol and shot the consul dead. Mr Pasovsky, who says he has no recollection of the incident, has appealed the verdict.

Tram driver charged with attempted murder of passenger

A Prague tram driver has been charged with attempted murder, after setting a homeless man on fire in a night tram, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. Another man has also been charged in connection with the incident. The two are suspected of similar attacks on night trams, setting fire to sleeping passengers' hair, clothing and belongings, the paper said.

Harry Potter filming under threat as actor's father's worries about Prague sex industry

Plans to film "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in Prague may be abandoned; the father of the boy who plays the main role, Daniel Radcliffe, said he did not want him to be exposed to the Czech capital's wild night life and sex industry, according to reports in the Czech press on Tuesday. Prague has gained a reputation as a centre for cheap prostitution in the United Kingdom in recent years.

Czech film being shown at Glastonbury festival on eve of UK release

The Czech film Cesky Sen (Czech Dream) is to be shown at the famous Glastonbury music and arts festival in England on Thursday night, the eve of its official release in the UK. The makers attracted hundreds of shoppers to the opening of a non-existent hypermarket and captured their reaction in a film which is seen as a comment on consumerism in today's Czech Republic.

Footballer Repka stays with West Ham after promotion to Premier League

Former Czech football international Tomas Repka has signed a new two-year contract with English club West Ham United, who he recently helped win promotion to the Premier League. Repka, who is 31 and has a poor disciplinary record, joined West Ham from Italy's Fiorentina in 2001 for nine million US dollars.

Weather

Temperatures are set to rise slightly over the coming days, reaching over 30 degrees Celsius at the end of the week. We should see lots of sunshine, though there will be rain in places.

21-06-2005