News Friday, JANUARY 29th, 1999

Radio Prague - E news Date: January 29, 1999 Written & Read by Marketa Atanasova

Welcome to Radio Prague. Those were the headlines, now the news in more detail, read by Marketa Atanasova.


The reason behind yesterday's removal of the chief of the Czech Secret Service, the BIS, Karel Vulterin, from office, might be that BIS didn't inform the Czech government about the intended terrorist action against the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Prague. According to the Czech press agency CTK, BIS found out about the intended terrorist action from British intelligence service, suggesting that the Iraqi consul in the Czech Republic, Djabir Salim, who fled the country earlier this month, had a principle role in the planned attack. Salim, who worked for the Iraqui counter intelligence, carried out espionage activities in Central Europe. Following the approval by the Czech government of the broadcasting of Radio Free Europe to Iraq, Salim was, according to undisclosed sources, given 150 thousand US dollars to carry out or organise a terrorist attack against the building of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Prague. Although BIS knew about the terrorist plan and monitored the situation, it didn't inform the Czech government, which according to some ministers was such a serious violation of intelligence service laws on Vulterin's part, that removal from office was the only solution. The BIS parliamentary control commission is to discuss the issue later today.


Czech President Vaclav Havel reiterated his idea to organise an international conference on Kosovo, which he first proposed at the October meeting of Central European presidents in Vienna. However, the conference, which would be organised under the auspices of the European Union, is conditioned on a cease-fire in Kosovo. Havel said that the conference should help find political solution and unite the forces necessary for the rebuilding of Kosovo, as well as provide constant attention to the conflict by the international community. Havel has warned that Kosovo threatened with open war and negotiations concerning future political statute of Kosovo between Belgrade and the Kosovo Albanians must enjoy a widespread international support. We all have to be prepared to do that, and not renounce our share of responsibility for future developments in the Balkans, Havel said.


Member of the health and social parliamentary committee, Jan Svoboda, is going to propose a full legalisation of prostitution as a useful tool in fighting sexually transmitted diseases. Svoboda's initiative has the support of the Social Democratic vice chairman Zdenek Skromach, although he believes that a complete legalisation of prostitution is impossible. He is instead inclined to creating certain legislative conditions, which would, for example, force prostitutes to provide their services in houses with basic social facilities, rather than outdoors, and attend regular medical check ups. Participants of yesterday's session of the health and social committee reminded of the danger, which prostitutes without a compulsory health control represent to public. 604 cases of syphilis and 1090 of gonorrhoea have been reported in the Czech Republic, as well as 387 cases of HIV and 114 of AIDS. Another 115 HIV cases in the Czech Republic are foreign nationals.

And that's the end of the news.