Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

04-06-2003

Airport hoax bomb caller sentences to five years in prison

A 25-year-old man who made a series of hoax bomb alerts to Prague's Ruzyne Airport has been sentenced to five years in prison. Jaroslav Horacek made the hoax calls last August, bringing the airport to a standstill for hours on end. Mr Horacek changed his testimony several times during the court proceedings. Recently he told the court the bomb alerts were real, claiming he was a driver for a mafia group who were planning the assassination of an arms dealer called Muhammed. He said the group planned to kill the man at the airport using explosives. Mr Horacek has five previous convictions for theft and fraud.

Christian Democrats condemn Mares calls for decriminalisation of marihuana

Members of the junior coalition Christian Democrats have criticised calls by the deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares for the relaxing of legislation on marihuana. This week the government's council for co-ordination of anti-drug policy, chaired by Mr Mares, recommended that marihuana use should be partially decriminalised, whilst introducing tougher legislation for harder drugs. Christian Democrat MPs criticised the proposals, saying marihuana posed a serious threat to human health and users often went on to hard drugs.

Farmers demonstrate outside government offices

Around 200 farmers have demonstrated outside the government offices in Prague in support of a proposal put forward by Agriculture Minister Jaroslav Palas. The proposal involves asking for more direct payments from the European Union, and a temporary grant of around 100 million dollars to resolve problems in the agriculture sector.

Yes for Europe mull concert venue in wake of ban

The pro-EU Yes for Europe group is considering whether to go ahead with a planned concert in the centre of Prague, in the wake of a decision by the city council banning the group from holding the event in the Old Town Square. The council has told the group they can hold the concert - to be opened by former President Vaclav Havel - on Wenceslas Square instead, but the group say this may not be possible. The council - which is controlled by the opposition Civic Democrats - banned the concert for noise reasons. The Civic Democrats have held several rock concerts in the Old Town Square in recent years.

Czech on run from law applies for asylum in U.S.

A Czech man being prosecuted for unpaid debts has applied for political asylum in the United States, saying the Czech courts are run by former Communists. Dusan Krstovsky, from Bohumin in north Moravia, has been in prison in the U.S. for the last six months, and the Czech authorities have demanded his extradition. Mr Krstovsky has lived in the U.S. since 1996. He fled the Czech Republic after his business partner was found dead and the police started prosecuting him for unpaid debts amounting to some one million dollars. He denies responsibility for the debts.

Police launch investigation after boy drowns at pool

Police in the West Bohemian city of Karlovy Vary have launched an investigation after a seven-year-old boy drowned at an open-air swimming pool. The boy's body was found under a water slide being built at the pool. The city council - which owns the swimming pool - has denied responsibility for the boy's death, saying the slide was still under the supervision of the contractors building it.

Police recover two more stolen Lada paintings

Police have recovered two more paintings stolen last autumn from a gallery devoted to the popular artist Josef Lada. Five of the eight stolen paintings were recovered last month, two were found this week and one is still missing. Police say the last painting should be recovered soon. The artworks were robbed from the Lada memorial gallery in Hrusice, where the artist lived. Josef Lada is best known for his illustrations of Jaroslav Hasek's famous book "The Good Soldier Svejk".

Weather

Thursday will be another hot and sultry day, with temperatures in the daytime reaching highs of 32 degrees Celsius.

04-06-2003