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Czech Television wants Presidential Office’s apology for slander

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Prague, Nov 9 (CTK) – The Czech Television (CT) public broadcaster called on the Presidential Office yesterday to apologise for its untrue words about a provocation allegedly staged in a Moravian theatre and aimed against Czech First Lady Ivana Zemanova, CT general director Petr Dvorak told the CT Council yesterday.
President Milos Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek reacted calling CT’s demand “an unseen arrogance.”
CT also wants the same apology from Miroslav Novak (Social Democrats, CSSD), outgoing governor of the Moravia-Silesia Region.
Ovcacek and Novak recently spoke about a provocation that CT staged in a theatre in the Ostrava, the centre of Moravia-Silesia, where Zemanova was to visit a drama performance on November 2.
Novak said CT reporters booked seats in the auditorium for the same night, a Tibetan flag was flown in the theatre, a petition against Zeman was organised and a protest event planned.
Ovcacek criticised CT on Twitter as well, and later also Zeman himself.
“The governor already said this was silly, mean and base. Be ashamed,” Zeman said during his visit to Moravia-Silesia last week, alluding to CT staffers.
In late October, a scandal broke out on the Czech scene after Jiri Brady, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor, said Zeman deleted his name from the list of those to receive a high state award because his relative, Culture Minister Daniel Herman, had an official meeting with the Tibetan Dalai Lama.
Dvorak said yesterday CT was making documentary shots about a new production in the theatre in accordance with its plan. He said several seats in the auditorium were booked exclusively by the creators of the documentary, who were shooting nothing else but the artists on the stage. There were no CT news reporters in the theatre on November 2, Dvorak said.
He dismissed Ovcacek’s previous assertion that CT cancelled its booking of seats after the First Lady cancelled her visit.
CT had booked the seats long in advance, on October 20, when neither CT nor the theatre knew about the First Lady’s plan to visit the November 2 performance.
Ovcacek said the tickets for Zemanova were bought on the same day when CT and the theatre agreed on the documentary shooting, which is October 20.
The theatre previously said on its website that Zemanova’s team arrived to prepare her visit on October 26 only.

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