Prague, July 31 (CTK) – Dusan Uher replaced Justice Minister Jan Knezinek (ANO) as the investigator of the illegal conduct of government members and other senior officials, Knezinek told journalists after a government meeting on Tuesday. Three weeks ago, Knezinek joined the government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis after the resignation of Tatana Mala (ANO) due to a plagiarism scandal. Knezinek was installed in the office by the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) three years ago. In this post, Knezinek dealt, for example, with the case of deputy finance minister Tomas Vyhnanek, who ordered a subordinate clerk in January 2016, when Babis was finance minister, to gather information from the Brussels-based European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) about its investigationContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – The Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO), with support of the Environment Ministry, has prepared a series of strolls for the blind who learn to identify the voices of birds and other sounds of nature, Evzen Tosenovsky, from the CSO, has said. At the same time, the ornithologists are learning from the blind how to lead such walks within a pilot project. The first stroll took place in Prague and another one is prepared in Zlin, south Moravia, tonight, while others will follow in Olomouc and Prerov, both north Moravia, and Prague again. The blind and other visually impaired have a great advantage in identifying the sounds of nature as they are able to better concentrateContinue Reading

July 31 (CTK) – Jiri Mazanek, who headed a section of the Czech National Centre for Organised Crime (NCOZ), has become the centre’s new chief, replacing Michal Mazanek who ended yesterday, police command spokesman Jozef Bocan said in a press release. Two applicants sought the post within the selection process, Jiri Mazanek and NCOZ deputy director Milan Komarek. “A new director knows the situation in the centre very well and he can successfully follow the work of his predecessor,” Police President Tomas Tuhy said. Tuhy and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) thanked the outgoing NCOZ chief for his work on Tuesday. Jiri Mazanek heads the serious economic crime and corruption section in the NCOZ. In the former corruptionContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – The 8th Prague Pride festival of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) to be held on August 6-12 will focus on the family, its support and rejection topics, its organisers told reporters on Tuesday. The festival will offer more than 100 theatre performances, film screenings, seminars, debates and sport events. It will culminate with the Saturday carnival march of pride through the centre of Prague. “In the campaign, we want to mainly focus on how often homosexual children are considered black sheep of the family,” festival director Hana Kulhankova said. This year, the festival also wants to point out that the people from the LGBT community are often labelled according to their inbornContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – A Prague district court has punished former secretary of the opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement, Jaroslav Stanik, for hate speech over the statements he made in parliament about Jews, Roma and gays, the Czech Television (CT) public broadcaster reported on Tuesday. The court issued the respective penal order on Monday. Its spokeswoman Pavla Hajkova could not give any details about the punishment because all the participants did not receive the order yet. If Stanik appeals the verdict, a trial would have to be held. By issuing an order, courts may impose a suspended sentence of up to one year, home confinement, work for the public benefit or a fine. According to eyewitnesses, StanikContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman signed the implementation of the European Investigation Order in harmony with the respective EU directive, along with other bills into laws on Tuesday, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has said. The EU member states were to transpose this European directive, under which international cooperation will be based on a special order form and not on a request as so far, into their legislation by May 2017. The Czech Republic is one of the last EU countries not to have done so and it may face sanctions for the delay. The European Investigation Order is to be used for legal assistance in obtaining evidence in another member state. The bill regulates the procedure forContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) will propose district state attorney’s office head Radim Dragoun for the director of the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS), Government Office spokeswoman Petra Dolezalova told CTK on Tuesday. Dragoun won a competition for the post, in which 12 people participated. Babis accepted the winner of the competition, Dolezalova said. According to the media, Dragoun is an ally of Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradacova. In May, Michal Murin left the post of the GIBS chief after disputes with Babis. State attorneys were critical of the work of the police inspection authority and mentioned a long-term lack of cooperation with them amonng the biggest problems. The GIBS said BabisContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – The Czech state should step in the case of the bankrupt H-system housing project and compensate the damaged people, Supreme Court (NS) chairman Pavel Samal said after a meeting with President Milos Zeman on Tuesday. Justice Minister Jan Knezinek (for ANO) said current laws do not allow for a general compensation, but the clients may address his ministry with a request for the compensation of the damage that would be caused by unlawful or wrong steps of the authorities within the H-System case. Along with Samal, Zeman also received Constitutional Court (US) chairman Pavel Rychetsky who said the H-system case was an example of the Czech state’s failure in the 1990s. Samal apologised for theContinue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – Yesterday has been the hottest day in the Czech Republic this year so far, with temperatures mostly between 31 to 35 degrees Centigrade, but occasionally over 37 degrees, according to the website of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. The highest temperature, 37.6 degrees, was recorded in Rez near Prague. Extremely hot weather was especially in the Labe Valley. However, Tuesday has not been the hottest July 31 in the country ever since the last day of July was even hotter in 1994. Draught and lowering levels of groundwater have recently become new hot issues in the Czech Republic.Continue Reading

Prague, July 31 (CTK) – Some 150 people took part in a protest march against violence and discrimination against the Roma community in the Czech Republic, Italy and Ukraine that was held in Prague on Tuesday. The people gathered at the Letna plain and they walked to the seat of the Ukrainian embassy. Outside the embassy, they read out a statement recalling the violence against Roma people that occurred in Ukraine this year and the repressive steps recently taken by the Italian government. The protesters called on Czech, Italian and Ukrainian authorities and the EU to face xenophobia and racism. They gave their manifesto to the charge d’affaires of Ukraine’s embassy who assured them that the violent crimes against theContinue Reading