Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

28-07-2003

Alleged StB torturer Grebenicek dies aged 81

Alois Grebenicek, a former Communist secret police officer accused of torturing political prisoners in the 1950s, has died in hospital at the age of 81. Mr Grebenicek, a former investigator for the Communist-era State Security service or StB, was charged over the offences six years ago, but never appeared in court, citing ill health. The presiding judge said the case was now closed and she had no comment to make. Several of his alleged victims have expressed their frustration that Mr Grebenicek had not been brought to justice. Alois Grebencek was the father of the chairman of the present-day Communist Party, Miroslav Grebenicek.

Spokesman: Klaus making good recovery at presidential chateau

A spokesman for President Vaclav Klaus says he is making a good recovery from a recent bout of illness. Mr Klaus is convalescing at the presidential chateau in Lany, just outside Prague, after being hospitalised last week with tonsillitis and pains in his hips. He was released from hospital on Sunday, and will spend a week at Lany before returning to work. The spokesman said the president was reading and taking short walks. Mr Klaus, who is 62, is a keen sportsman and has no history of serious illness.

Spidla to run Justice Ministry until new minister appointed

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla is to ask President Klaus for permission to take charge of the Justice Ministry until a new minister is appointed. The move comes after the candidate for the post - lawyer Vladimir Papez - withdrew his candidature at the last minute amid questions over his private life. Mr Papez was due to replace Pavel Rychetsky, who is shortly to become a Constitutional Court judge. Mr Rychetsky's appointment has itself been delayed by President Klaus's illness.

Doctors: Czech woman did not die of vCJD

Doctors in Prague say a 46-year-old woman who died in mid-June was not suffering from new variant Creutzfeld Jakobs disease (vCJD), the human form of mad cow disease. The woman was first admitted to hospital in April suffering from mental disorders and motion problems. Initial tests suggested she was infected with vCJD, but doctors say comprehensive tests carried out in Prague have now ruled out the possibility. They say she died of regular CJD, which is unrelated to cattle.

Man shot in metro for bumping into fellow passenger

Police in Prague say a man was shot in the arm on Monday after bumping into another passenger in a metro station. The 27-year-old man is now recovering in hospital. He told police the incident happened inside a metro carriage at the Muzeum station, in the centre of Prague. He said he had accidentally bumped into another passenger, a man described as Czech speaking and around 30. He had apologised, but the other passenger drew a pistol and fired once at close range, hitting him in the upper arm.

Weather

Tuesday will be another changeable day, with a mixture of sunny periods and showers. Temperatures in the daytime will range from 21 to 25 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 11 degrees.

28-07-2003