Daily news summary
Case of death of Jan Masaryk reopened after recording find
The state attorney’s office has ordered that the case of the death of Jan Masaryk be reopened, Právo reported on Wednesday. This follows the recent discovery of a recorded statement from a police officer who was first on the scene when Masaryk’s body was found beneath a window at Prague’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 1948.
The case will now be investigated by the police’s Office for the Documentation and Investigation of the Crimes of Communism, which has looked into it several times in the past.
Jan Masaryk was the only democratic minister remaining in the Czechoslovak government after the Communist takeover of 1948. The official interpretation is that the minister was murdered.
Court rehabilitates late Milan Píka over unjustified jailing by Communists
The Prague Municipal Court on Wednesday rehabilitated the late General Milan Píka over his unjustified imprisonment by the Communist regime in the late 1940s. The judge said it was the only possible response to the wrongs committed against him by the regime.
Milan Píka was jailed in 1948 for allegedly plotting to break his father, General Heliodor Píka, out of prison. In 1949 war hero Heliodor Píka became the first victim of judicial murder during Czechoslovakia’s Communist show trials.
Milan Píka died earlier this year and the case to clear his name was taken by his daughter Dagmar Sedláčková.
Fifty years since death of Bohumil Peroutka after self-immolation
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the death of Bohumil Peroutka, who set himself on fire in protest at the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia and the onset of normalisation. He was 43 years old when he committed his radical protest in the town of Vsetín on October 28, the day of Czechoslovak independence, and died of his burns two days later.
Peroutka, who is not well known, is regarded as the country’s fourth “human torch” protestor of that era, with the first being student Jan Palach.
Czechoslovaks executed in USSR honoured in Prague
Czechoslovak citizens executed in the Soviet Union in the 1930s were remembered at a ceremony in Prague on Tuesday evening. The event took place at a monument to the victims of the Communist regime in the Újezd district.
The names of 85 Czechs and Slovaks put to death in the USSR were read out by representatives of the associations that organised it and others. Similar memorials were held elsewhere in Europe on the eve of Russia’s Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions on October 30.
Local dollar millionaires expect crisis inside two years
Dollar millionaires in the Czech Republic and Slovakia believe the next economic crisis is likely to arrive in two years or less, suggests the latest edition of the annual Wealth Report compiled by J&T Banka. One in 10 of those surveyed believe a crisis will come within the next 12 months. However, the respondents in the study do not expect the next economic downturn to have as much impact as the crash of 2008.
Hardly any of the 165 Czech and 117 Slovak clients of the bank with savings of at least CZK 23 million said they did not foresee an economic crisis within the next five years.
Dangerous pathway to Prague’s Main Station widened
The narrow pavement running from Prague’s Vinohradská St. to the Main Train Station is being widened, a spokesperson for City Hall said on Wednesday. The sidewalk will be expanded from the current 30 cm to 175 cm.
It runs alongside the busy “mainline” road that cuts through the city centre and is known by Praguers as the “pavement of death”, the Czech News Agency said.
Tokyo Olympics set to be most costly ever for Czech team
The Czech Olympic Committee says the country’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics next year will be the most expensive ever. The Committee, which is currently discussing its budget for 2020, said the Czech party in Tokyo would number around 200.
The head of the Czech Olympic Committee, Jiří Kejval, said that while almost CZK 50 million had been earmarked three years ago to cover involvement in the 2020 Olympics, up to 20 percent more would now be required due to the increased cost of accommodation.
Thursday should be sunny in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 7 degrees Celsius. The following days are expected to be marginally warmer but overcast.