Daily news summary

Court: Ex-justice minister’s extradition decision violated Nikulin’s rights

The former Czech minister of justice Robert Pelikán violated the rights of alleged hacker Yevgeny Nikulin when he decided to extradite the Russian to the United States, the Czech Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday.

The judges overturned Mr. Pelikán’s decision following an appeal from Mr. Nikulin, who was handed over to US officials last year.

The Russian was arrested in Prague on an American warrant in 2016. He is accused of hacking major internet firms such as LinkedIn and Dropbox and faces up to 30 years in jail if found guilty in the US. He is also wanted on lesser charges in his native country.

Zeman visit to China set to cost more than previous trip

A trip President Miloš Zeman plans to make to China at the end of this month will cost around CZK 8.8 million crowns, the news site Seznam Zprávy reported, citing information sent from the Office of the President to the government.

The figure is around CZK 3 million more than the amount spent on the head of state’s last visit to China. The president’s aides have attributed this to the size of a delegation travelling with him and the cost of a large reception at the Czech Embassy in Beijing.

It will be Mr. Zeman’s sixth visit to China since taking office.

Ex-Okamura party official guilty of hate speech on premises of lower house

A former secretary of Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy has been found guilty of hate speech delivered at a restaurant in the lower house of the Czech Parliament. The Prague 1 District Court gave Jaroslav Staník a suspended sentence over the incident, which took place in October 2017.

Mr. Staník was heard saying that gay men and lesbians should be shot at birth and that homosexuals, Roma and Jews ought to be gassed.

After Tuesday’s ruling he said that the verdict was aimed at discrediting Freedom and Direct Democracy.

Court ruling says state firms must respond to information requests

Companies that are fully state-owned have to respond to requests for information if nothing precludes them from doing so, according to a ruling issued by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. Judges uphold a complaint against state company OTE, which had said refused to release information, arguing that it was not required to do so by law, Czech Television reported.

OTE trades in greenhouse gas emission permits and the request had come from the civic association Oživení. It lost a case at the Prague Municipal Court before taking the matter to the country’s highest court.

Study: Over 20 percent of Czechs have changed job in last six months

Over one-fifth of Czech workers have changed jobs in the last six months, which is the highest level since 2010, suggests a survey conducted by the company Randstad and cited by the Czech News Agency. Over a third of respondents who had switched positions said higher pay had been the key factor in their decision.

Another fifth of the workforce are actively seeking new jobs, the report found. Seventy-percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their current employment.

Czech breweries produce record volume of beer

Czech breweries produced a record 21.3 million hectoliters of beer last year, an increase of 4.7 percent on 2017. The main driver of that increase was a jump in exports, though domestic consumption was also up on the previous year.

In 2018 the average Czech drank 141 litres of beer, which was six more litres than in the previous 12-month period, according to figures released on Tuesday by the national brewers’ association.

Weather forecast

It should be quite bright in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 13 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to fall to around 5 degrees Celsius at the weekend, when some snow is possible.