Daily news summary
President Zeman attends Freedom and Direct Democracy Party congress
Czech president Miloš Zeman delivered an opening speech at the congress of the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy Party on Saturday, along with party chairman Tomio Okamura. The Czech head of state said he agreed with the party on most issues, with the exception of Czech exit from the EU. He also reprimanded Mr Okamura for not supporting Czech foreign military missions.
The president also thanked Mr Okamura for supporting Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and criticized the EU for allegedly supporting pro-Palestinian movements over the pro-Israeli ones.
At the end of the congress, the party is set announce the name of the presidential candidate who will receive their support. President Zeman, who himself is running for re-election, said he wasn’t attending the conference to receive support ahead of the presidential election next January.
Extradition proceedings of Czech crime boss Krejčíř to continue in January
The extradition proceedings of Czech fugitive businessman Radovan Krejčíř in South Africa will continue in January next year. According to the website IOL, Krejčíř told the court this week that, depending on the outcome of the case, he was willing to form a plea bargain on two of his local criminal cases.
The Czech crime boss is currently serving a 35-year-term in prison, after being found guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping and drug dealing. He is currently accused of a series of other criminal charges, including murder. Krejčíř fled the Czech Republic in 2005 during a police search of his luxury home near Prague and later became one of the most notorious criminals in South Africa.
Roma activist Čeněk Růžička receives Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award
The new US ambassador to the Czech Republic, Stephen King, presented the 2017 Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award to Roma activist Čeněk Růžička. According to the embassy, Mr Růžička received the award for his tireless advocacy of Roma Holocaust victims and his decades-long struggle for a dignified memorial on the site of the Lety concentration camp.
The Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award was established in 2004 to recognize persons and institutions in the Czech Republic who have made exceptional and continuing contributions to the advancement of human rights. Previous award winners include the ombudswoman Anna Šabatová or head of Transparency International David Ondračka.
Czech politicians slam president for attending far-right party congress
Czech politicians, including former human rights minister Jiří Dientsbier, have criticized president Miloš Zeman for his appearance at the congress of the far-right Freedom anSeverald Direct Democracy Party on Saturday.
On his Twitter account, Mr Dientsbier has described the president’s presence at the congress as "moral dirt". According to TOP09 chairman Jiří Pospíšil, the president is looking for support among extreme-right voters, which proves that he isn’t a pro-European politician.
Rock band Olympic to mark 55 years with concert at Prague’s O2 Arena
The legendary Czech rock band Olympic is set to mark 55 years of its existence with a special concert at Prague’s O2 Arena on Saturday. The group will be joined by a number of guests, including Marta Jandová, the daughter of leader Petr Janda. Olympic – whose first LP Želva came out in 1968 –had a huge impact on Czech pop and big beat.
Avalanche warning still in place in Krkonoše mountains
An avalanche warning is still in place in the Krkonoše mountains in north of the Czech Republic. The grade two warning on a five-point scale was issued on Tuesday.
Skiers and hikers have been cautioned not to stray from marked trails and follow weather reports. Some ten centimetres of fresh snow have fallen in the area over the past 48 hours and forecasters expect more snowfall in the days to come.
Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy with snow showers in places and daytime temperatures ranging between -2 and 2 degrees Celsius.