Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

20-02-2003

Czech pensioner charged with murdering Nigerian consul

A 72-year-old Czech man has been charged with murder after shooting dead a senior diplomat at the Nigerian embassy in Prague. Reports say the man, who apparently lost his life savings in an oil-investment scam, has confessed to police. The unnamed pensioner entered the Nigerian embassy on Wednesday and shot dead consul Michael Lekara Wayid. Police are still questioning the suspect. Thousands of letters and emails have been sent around the world in recent years, seeking funds for bogus African investment deals.

Freedom Union MPs support Sokol

Deputies belonging to the right-of-centre Freedom Union, the smallest party in the ruling coalition, have pledged their support for the government's candidate for president Jan Sokol. Mr Sokol, a former Education Minister and now university professor, held an hour of talks with the Freedom Union MPs on Thursday, ahead of next week's third attempt in parliament to try and elect a new president. Observers say Mr Sokol has a good chance of being elected, although everything depends on how many members of the senior coalition Social Democrats will give him their vote.

Czech Army field hospital could join EU Macedonia mission

The Czech Army chief-of-staff has said an army field hospital which returned from Afghanistan in January could be deployed to Macedonia. Chief-of-staff Pavel Stefka said the field hospital could be sent to the country in March, when the European Union takes over peace-keeping duties in Macedonia from NATO.

Lower house rejects bid to lower age of criminal responsibility to 14

The lower house of parliament has rejected a bid by the opposition Civic Democrats to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14. The MP who drafted the bill told reporters that young people under the age of 15 frequently committed crimes because they know they cannot be prosecuted. He said it was not uncommon for children as young as 14 to physically assault not only fellow pupils but also teachers.

South Moravian police arrest car thieves

Police in south Moravia say they have broken up a gang which stole 33 cars valued at more than 20 million crowns. An unnamed officer working on the case told reporters it was the biggest single success against car thieves in the region. Three men have been arrested, another two are wanted by police for questioning. The gang-members face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

Weather forecast

Friday will be a cloudy and cold day, with snow forecast for some parts of the country. Temperatures in the daytime will range between -3 and 1 degrees Celsius.

20-02-2003