Daily news summary
Investigative reporters claim police trying to dissuade them from sensitive cases
Three of the country’s best-known investigative reporters claim that there is a coordinated effort on the part of the police to discourage them from working on sensitive cases relating to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
Jaroslav Kmenta from the magazine Reporter, Janek Kroupa from Czech Radio and Sabina Slonková from the news site Neovlivni.cz say that they were summoned by the police for questioning in connection with alleged leaks from police files on some of the cases they were working on.
The three say they had previously been questioned by the police on this matter and made it clear they would not name their respective sources.
In a joint proclamation issued on Thursday they say that they view these latest summons as an effort to discourage them from pursuing their investigative work.
The police have rejected claims of pressurizing the reporters in question, saying they were bound to investigate leaks from police files.
ANO, Social Democrat negotiators say compromises found on policy differences
Negotiators from the ANO and Social Democrat parties say they have ironed out all of their fundamental policy differences.
The declaration was made following talks between the two sides on Wednesday aimed at paving the way for a minority ANO and Social Democrat government supported by the communists.
ANO deputy prime minister Richard Brabec said compromises had been found over sick pay for employees during the first three days’ absence and over tax. He did not give details.
The two sides meet again late Thursday where crucial talks over the share out of Cabinet portfolios will be discussed. The outcome of the talks should be put to a special meeting of Social Democrat delegates on Saturday.
President Zeman on official visit to Slovakia
President Miloš Zeman is on a two-day visit to Slovakia, his first trip abroad since getting re-elected for a second term in office.
The Czech president's talks with his Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska focused on bilateral relations, the situation in Slovakia following the murder of a Slovak journalist just over a month ago and the nerve agent row with Russia.
He will later meet with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. On his arrival to the one-time sister state the Czech president was greeted by the Czechoslovak national anthem.
Criminal charges brought over missing Czech fuel stored in Germany
Criminal charges have been pressed against four individuals and one company connected with the suspected disappearance of millions of litres of fuel stored in Germany as part of the Czech state’s emergency reserves, according to Czech Radio.
Police suspect fraud in the disappearance of the fuel stocks held at one stage in Germany by the company Viktoriagruppe from 2015. One of those charged is the former owner of the company, Petr Malý.
When the company went bust and Czechs sought the return of the fuel, the significant shortfall was discovered. Police suspect it might never have been delivered to German storage at all. Damages are estimated at 108 million crowns by the state prosecutor.
Army, police and judiciary enjoy high public trust
The army, police and the judiciary are the most trusted institutions in the country according to the outcome of a March poll conducted by the CVVM agency.
The army is trusted by 69 percent of Czechs and the police by 66 percent and the judiciary by 56 percent.
The least trustworthy are the press, NGOs and churches, although public trust in the press has risen from 30 to 39 percent as compared to a poll conducted last October.
Prague gearing up for traditional half-marathon
Some twenty thousand people are expected to take part in the traditional Prague half-marathon due to be held on Saturday, the organizers of the event told the ctk news agency.
Drivers have been warned to expect traffic complications along the route. The Čechův and Mánesuv bridges will be closed to traffic between 9.30 and 1pm and some trams and busses will be re-routed. Parking will also be prohibited along the route of the half-marathon.
Friday should bring clear skies and day temperatures between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.