Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

26-05-2003

Scandal over classified documents

The President of the UN General Assembly Jan Kavan has rejected calls for him to resign in connection with a scandal concerning classified documents at the Czech foreign ministry. Classified documents which were believed to have been shredded under the former foreign minister Jan Kavan have unexpectedly come to light. During his ministerial term Mr. Kavan reportedly signed orders for some 400 documents classified top secret to be shredded. Two thirds of them have unexpectedly come to light. The materials in question allegedly include NATO documents. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda told the CTK press agency it was not clear whether the act was intentional or simply a matter of gross negligence, but he said that in any case the incident had damaged the country's reputation. Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has reportedly asked the National Security Office to look into the matter.

George Robertson on EU defense force

Attending a NATO Parliament conference in Prague, NATO Secretary General George Robertson said that the EU's emerging defense force and NATO will be "two sides of the same coin" with "no inconsistency". One example, he said was a Czech bio-chemical warfare detection battalion which had been requested last week by NATO and the United States and which would also be able to accept EU defense assignments. Many units would be complementary since the EU and NATO would not necessarily need them at the same time, Mr. Robertson said, addressing the question of how EU states could finance two defense structures.

Suspected blackmailer silent

The man suspected of being the cyanide blackmailer who put the country's police on high alert for several weeks is reportedly refusing to communicate but the police say they have plenty of evidence against him. The blackmailer made several anonymous phone calls to the police in recent weeks threatening to poison hospital food with cyanide if he didn't receive 500 million crowns by a certain date. Two vials containing cyanide were found in Prague hospitals at the time, resulting in unprecedented security measures and an intensive search for the culprit. The thirty year old suspect, who was arrested last Friday, has a criminal record and reportedly once worked at the hospital where a vial of cyanide was found. The police have reportedly found similar vials containing cyanide in his flat.

Bus collision near Prague injures 24 people

Twenty four people were injured when a bus collided with a lorry on the D1 motorway on Monday morning. The bus driver and two passengers suffered serious injuries; 21 people were slightly hurt. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Weather forecast:

Tuesday is expected to be partly cloudy with afternoon highs reaching 24 degrees Celsius.

26-05-2003