Daily news summary News

26-04-2004

Country's biggest serial killers sentenced to life imprisonment

The Hradec Kralove regional court has found two Czechs guilty of a series of murders and sentenced them to life imprisonment on Monday. Jaroslav Stodola and his wife Dana, dubbed as the biggest serial killers in the Czech Republic's history, were charged with eight counts of murder, several counts of theft and other criminal offences. For two years, from 2001-2003, they beat, tied up, robbed, and strangled pensioners and other helpless victims. The couple have appealed the verdict.

Czech Radio: Czech Army squandered millions on defective missiles

Public broadcaster Czech Radio's Radiozurnal has reported that the Czech Army spent almost 90 million crowns on defective missiles from Bulgaria. The news is based on final results from a study published by the Chief Control Office showing that the Czech Army bought eighty defective rockets that had been issued with fake documentation. The report found that not all components in the missiles were new, but had been replaced by older parts. The last twenty rockets were delivered three years ago by the Omnipol company; since that time the Defence Ministry has been unable to reach an agreement on compensation from Bulgaria. Czech Radio has reported that the matter was not helped by the fact the Czech Army did not halt the delivery of the final twenty missiles three years ago, at a time the army already knew there were problems with the product.

VZP director says she will not resign

Jirina Musilkova, the head of the state health insurance company Vseobecna Zdravotni Pojistovna (VZP), has rejected accusations of incompetence and declared on Monday she would not resign, as proposed by Czech Health Minister Jozef Kubinyi. Mr Kubinyi, who was appointed into office last week to lead the reform of the health sector, stated over the week-end that Mrs Musilkova was unable to carry out her duties and control her staff. Mrs Musilkova has reacted by saying that neither regular controls from the Supreme Audit Office nor past controls of the Finance and Health Ministries have found any cause for concern. She added that, in her opinion, the problem lies in the Health Ministry itself; while she has been in the post for five years, the health sector has seen five ministers come and go, she pointed out.

Kostelka: no more soldiers to Iraq

Czech Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka has ruled out the possibility that the Czech Republic could send more military police to Iraq. Speaking in Bucarest during a two-day trip to Romania on Monday, Mr Kostelka said there are no plans to increase the number of members in the Czech contingent. Eighty military police officers are currently training members of the new Iraqi police force. Mr Kostelka was reacting to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who asked members of the coalition forces in Iraq on Friday to consider the possibility of increasing the number of soldiers in Iraq or prolonging their mission; most soldiers are scheduled to leave Iraq on June 30.

Weather

Tuesday will have overcast skies with occasional rain and day-time temperatures reaching a maximum of eighteen degrees Celsius.

26-04-2004