A Prague high court has confirmed an earlier ruling clearing former Communist dignitaries Milous Jakes and Jozef Lenart of charges connected with their actions during the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The men had been accused of treason and of trying to help set-up a framework that would have legalised the occupation by Warsaw Pact troops. Both Mr Jakes and Mr Lenart were cleared by a Prague district court last September. Thursday's appeal came at the request of the state prosecutor.
The Czech senate has voted in favour of a government proposal recommending that up to 400 Czech soldiers co-operate as part of a multi-national stabilisation team in Iraq. The soldiers will be chosen from the ranks of the contingent already serving in the region. Czech soldiers have been serving in Iraq as part of the Czech military's 7th field hospital; the Czech army also has a military police unit in Iraq, as well as a special 15-member civil-military unit (CIMIC). Czechs taking part in the multi-national stabilisation force will come under British command. The cost of the mission is expected to reach about 770 million crowns.
Police from the National Anti-Drug Bureau have broken up a fifteen-member gang operating in the Czech Republic; they were responsible for the sale of the illegal drug 'ecstasy' in regions in Moravia. The illegal substance, popular at all-night dance parties, was being smuggled by the gang into the Czech Republic from Belgium and Holland. The break up of the gang comes after a year of investigation by Czech police in co-operation with Belgian, Dutch, and German counterparts. Their main break came earlier this month when police uncovered more than 14,000 tablets of ecstasy hidden in the car of the gang's leader. The discovery came at the Czech-German border. The head of the gang is a forty-year-old US citizen. If found guilty, he and other gang members could face up to 12 years in prison.
A Prague court has sentenced two former traders, Bohumir Czernek and Bohumil Stadnik, formerly of the CSOB bank, to two-and-a-half years in prison. The court found both men guilty of improper handling of private funds - irresponsible trading that led to losses of more than 2.4 billion crowns for the Czech financial house. The court also ruled the two former traders will also have to replace the lost funds. Both men have also been given a ten year ban from working as stockbrokers and trading on the capitals market.
Skoda Auto, the Czech auto manufacturer which is a unit of Germany's car maker Volkswagen, has warned it may halt production at two out of its three plants if strikes at German car-parts suppliers continue. Engineering and steel workers in eastern Germany have been on strike for over three weeks, demanding similar working standards to their western colleagues. Skoda said it hopes the strike will end this week as that would help it to avoid production stoppage. The company had expected a recovery of domestic sales this year. Spokesman Jaroslav Cerny has said the worst-case scenario sees two out of three of Skoda's plants in Mlada Boleslav and Vrchlabi, halting production, representing a daily production of some 2,000 cars.
Czech first division football side Banik Ostrava have agreed terms with Borussia Moenchengladbach for the transfer of their 19-year-old striker Vaclav Sverkos, the club announced on Thursday. The deal should be signed next week, Ostrava said on their official website. No further details of the move were given. Vaclav Sverkos, who finished as second leading scorer with 14 goals in the Czech first division standings last season, has played for the Czech national under-21 side. He made his Czech first division debut in 2001 after being brought into the team to replace Milan Baros, who left Banik Ostrava for Liverpool.
Friday should see mostly clear skies with daytime temperatures reaching a high of about 24 degrees Celsius.
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