News of Radio Prague

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Zelezny questioned about transfer of property

Vladimir Zelezny, the General Director of TV Nova - the country's most successful private television station - has been arrested and is expected to spend the night in police custody. Mr Zeleny is accused of damaging the interests of a creditor by illegally transferring property. His lawyers are also being prosecuted for their involvement. His most senior legal adviser, Ales Rozehnal, has been in police custody since November. He and Mr Zelezny have been accused of fraud over a one-billion-crown transaction with the Lichtenstein-based Astrona Foundation.

Austrian Freedom Party launches petition against Temelin

Austria's junior coalition Freedom Party launched a petition on Monday calling for the Czech Republic's entry to the European Union to be vetoed unless it shuts down its Temelin nuclear power plant. The petition has been signed by senior Freedom Party members, including the current leader Peter Westenhaler and former leader Joerg Haider, but it is not supported by any other mainstream political party. The chairman of the senior ruling People's Party, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, has harshly criticised the petition, warning his party colleagues not to sign it. The petition is not legally binding, but if more than 100,000 people sign it the issue must be discussed in parliament.

Greenpeace CR criticises petition

Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, the campaign director of the Czech branch of Greenpeace, Jan Haverkamp, has said his organisation does not support the petition, saying it was a political game and had nothing to do with Temelin. He added that although pressure from Austria against the controversial power plant was always welcome, it should be based on arguments and not on politics.

Novaja Gazeta: Falkon Capital tied to bin Laden

The Russian weekly newspaper Novaja Gazeta has claimed that Falkon Capital - the private company that recently bought two thirds of Russia's debt to the Czech Republic - was closely linked to the man accused of masterminding the attacks on the United States, Osama bin Laden. In an article entitled "Russia owes bin Laden," the paper claims to have learnt from a reliable source that Falkon Capital was the daughter company of the Saudi Binladen Group - a company owned by Osama bin Laden's family, and believed to be the main financial source of terrorist groups including Al Qaeda.

Cibrian: EU holds conflicting streams of opinion

The head of the European Commission delegation to the Czech Republic, Ramiro Cibrian, said on Monday there were two streams of opinion inside the European Union - federalist and anti-federalist. During a trip to the Moravian city of Ostrava, Mr Cibrian told journalists that there were some people in the EU who wanted the union to continue on a federalist path, whilst others who an end to further integration. Ever since the formation of the EU, he said, these two platforms have been in dispute. He added that in the Czech Republic, the Civic Democratic Party and its chairman Vaclav Klaus represented the anti-federalist platform.

Weather

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Monday night will have overcast to partially clear skies with occasional snow throughout the country. Night-time temperatures are expected to range between -5 and -9 degrees Celsius. Tuesday will be cloudy with sleet or snow and daytime temperatures between -2 and -6 degrees Celsius.