Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

19-08-2003

Plea for pardon

The Czech Foreign Ministry and the former Czech president Vaclav Havel have asked the Russian government to free a Czech man who was caught with less than a gram of hashish in his backpack. Mr. Havel's request was made in a personal letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the Czech Foreign Ministry has written a formal request. Pavel Pavlicek, 36, was arrested at Moscow airport in April after a sniffer dog found the drug. He is now serving a 19 month prison sentence. Pavlicek claims the hashish was a gift from someone he had drank tea with while in India and that he had put it in his pack and forgotten about it.

Life sentence for brutal murder of priest

A Czech court has sentenced Dusan Kazda to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of a 75 year old priest in the village of Dub nad Moravou. In addition Kazda was found guilty of the attempted murder of a taxi driver. A few hours after committing the crimes, Kazda gave himself up to the police. He confessed to both crimes in court, hoping for a lighter sentence, and is now said to be considering an appeal.

Supreme Court overturns Cermakova's appeal

The Supreme Court has overturned an appeal by Helena Cermakova, sentenced to three years in prison for negligence which caused the death of her five year old daughter. The judge said Cermakova had no proper grounds for appeal. The case caused public outrage when it came to light that Cermakova had come home drunk and accidentally suffocated the child in her sleep. An autopsy also revealed alcohol in the child's blood although her mother later claimed that she had not given her any alcoholic beverage to drink. Shocked by the child's death Helena Cermakova hid her daughter's body in a nearby forest and pretended she'd been kidnapped.

President Klaus feeling much better

President Vaclav Klaus, who was hospitalized with health problems last week, is said to be feeling well and is recuperating at Lany Chateau. The President was released from hospital last Friday after doctors said they had not found anything seriously wrong. Mr. Klaus was taken ill after playing a tennis match in the heat and doctors believe that dehydration may have been the cause of the problem.

Bus crash injures three people

A Czech tourist bus carrying 43 passengers collided with a trailer in the early hours of Tuesday. Three people were injured in the accident near the Austrian town of Gaweinsthal. The APA news agency says the fact that the trailer was empty at the time of the crash prevented a serious tragedy. It was completely demolished by the impact. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

Weather:

Wednesday should be partly cloudy with scattered showers and day temps between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius.

19-08-2003