Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

23-02-2003

Suspicion rises as number of cases suggesting concealed listening devices increases

As the number of deputies suspecting that their offices are bugged increases, the country's police and intelligence forces deny being responsible. Four lower house representatives have said they had received strange recordings of private conversations, suggesting that someone had planted listening devices in their offices. On Friday, Vlastimil Tlusty, interrupted a parliamentary session saying he had a recording of a private conversation in his mobile phone mailbox that was apparently made in his office without his knowledge. That same night, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for the Czech Secret Service Jan Klas, also received a recording that indicated his office was bugged. This week-end, Civic Democrat deputy Zdenka Hornikova and Christian Democrat Jan Kasl both admitted to having had a similar experience.

Spidla meets teachers' representatives

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla will not support a Finance Ministry proposal that is to transfer certain responsibilities regarding teachers' salaries to local governments. Mr Spidla came to the conclusion after meeting with representatives of the Bohemian and Moravian teachers' trade union on Sunday. The Finance Ministry proposed that regions receive a share of taxes instead of budget subsidies, to be allocated to the education sector. However, the education unions claim that this would affect the quality, level and integrity of the Czech educational system.

Trial against Grebenicek to be postponed

The trial against communist functionary Alois Grebenicek that was to begin on Monday has been postponed as his defence lawyer, Cestmir Kubat, is suffering from the flu. Judge Radomira Vesela, who received the doctor's note stating Mr Kubat was on sick leave has postponed the trial to the last week in March. Mr Grebenicek, the 81 year old former communist secret police investigator, is accused of having tortured prisoners in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Although proceedings against him have been going on for five years, Mr Grebenicek, never appeared in court due to his ill state of health.

Czech police arrest drug gang

Czech police say they have arrested an eight-member gang that was manufacturing and distributing drugs in Bohemia. During operation Max, seven laboratories were uncovered and large amounts of the Czech-made amphetamine pervitine and ephedrine confiscated. The gang is believed to have made a profit of over 2.5 million Czech crowns of the sale of drugs such as marihuana, ecstasy and pervitine. If found guilty, the gang members can face up to ten years in prison.

Weather

Monday has been forecast with clear skies and day-time temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.

23-02-2003