Daily news summary News

29-05-2004

Ten suspected procurers arrested on Friday taken into custody

The eight men and two women who were arrested by a rapid deployment police unit in North Bohemia on Friday morning on suspicion of procurement have been taken into custody. The gang members have been charged with procurement, trafficking in people and criminal conspiracy for which they face up to ten years in prison if convicted. Among the suspects are Czech nationals as well as people from the former Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union. The Friday morning raid was carried out in three hotels, restaurants and flats in the Teplice district in North Bohemia.

Palestinians protest in Prague against Israeli policies

About 100 Palestinians and members of the Communist Youth Association gathered in Prague on Friday evening to protest against Israel's policies in the Gaza Strip and the Rafah refugee camp. The demonstrators highlighted the May invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army which claimed 44 victims. The Palestinian protesters brought along many flags and banners. They showed photos of dead Palestinians and destroyed houses. No incident was reported during the protest which was watched by some 15 police.

Former Czechoslovak foreign minister dies in Prague

The former Czechoslovak communist foreign minister Bohuslav Chnoupek, has died in Prague after a short illness at the age of 78. Apart from his political and diplomatic career, Mr Chnoupek also wrote many journalist reports, political publications and books. Bohuslav Chnoupek was born in 1925 in the Slovak capital Bratislava. He joined the Communist party in 1945. In 1969 to 1970 he was general director of Czechoslovak Radio where he implemented the first wave of the normalisation purges. Those followed the suppression of the Prague Spring reform movement by Warsaw Pact troops which occupied Czechoslovakia in August, 1968. In 1990, Mr Chnoupek was expelled from the Czechoslovak Communist Party and in the same year he was accused of abuse of power and spent six months in custody.

Former communist head of telecommunications to serve four years in jail

The Supreme Court earlier this week rejected the appeal of another former top Communist and confirmed a four year prison sentence for the former Czechoslovak head of telecommunications Karel Hoffmann. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction of sabotage during the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. A lower court had sentenced Mr Hoffmann for four years last June for ordering state radio to stop broadcasting during the violent crushing of the Prague Spring reform movement. The 79-year old Mr Hoffmann appealed on health grounds but lost. Mr Hoffmann is the first, and possibly last, top politician of former communist Czechoslovakia to be sentenced for actions connected to the Soviet-led invasion.

Weather

Sunday should be another sunny and warm day with daytime temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius in West Bohemia and 26 degrees Celsius in South Moravia.

29-05-2004