News of Radio Prague
Germany's Supreme Court turns down appeal by convicted concentration camp guard
Germany's Supreme Court has turned down an appeal by Anton Malloth, the former SS prison guard convicted of beating a Jewish prisoner to death in 1944 at Czechoslovakia's Terezin concentration camp. Malloth, who was a guard at the camp from the years 1940 to '45, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court last year. HHHHis lawyers had been demanding his release for reasons of ill health. Malloth, who is ninety -years-old, is suffering from cancer. He is currently being held at the hospital ward in Munich's Stadelheim prison.
Child care bill sent back to parliament
President Vaclav Havel has refused to sign a bill on the institutional and protective care of children, returning the bill to parliament. Mr Havel's spokesman Ladislav Spacek said the president was concerned with the possible violation of children's rights under the bill, because it would have allowed surrogate parents to adopt children on the basis of a contract without court supervision. Havel's refusal to confirm the bill was met with disappointment by Maria Vodickova, the chairwoman of the Fund for Endangered Children, who had argued for the benefits of the proposal.
Man gets two years for attack on Roma family
A court has sentenced 21-year-old Radek Bedri to two years in prison for an attack on a Roma family in the Ostrava region in the eastern Czech Republic. Bedri threw a petrol bomb through a window into the family's home in 1998, while the family was asleep. One woman barely survived the attack, suffering 2nd and 3rd degree wounds. The court ruled that the attack was racially motivated. Besides Bedri, two other defendants in the case were released for lack of evidence. Bedri has decided to appeal the decision.
Civic Democrats call for EU legal agreement to block annulment of Benes Decrees
The opposition Civic Democrats have called for a legal clause in the Czech Republic's accession treaty to the European Union, to put to rest the continuing political dispute over Czechoslovakia's post-war Benes Decrees, in order to prevent growing political pressure from having the decrees annulled. The Benes Decrees, which sanctioned the deportation of two-and-a-half million Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II, have been a growing point of contention in Czech-Austrian relations. Austria would like to see Sudeten Germans receive compensation, while the majority of Czech politicians say the Benes Decrees are a closed chapter in history, which should not be opened again.
Czech court sentences drug smugglers
A Czech court in the northern town of Liberec has convicted four drug smugglers in an original group of thirteen, to sentences ranging from six to thirteen years in jail. All four smugglers were convicted of manufacturing and possessing heroin, while two received additional convictions related to the forming of the illegal gang. The drugs gang was led by 39-year-old Robert Soukup, and 29-year-old Yugoslav national Zamir Kreuzi, who smuggled more than 466 kilograms of heroin, worth 280 million crowns, into western and northern Europe in 1997 and 1998. All four of the convicted have appealed the decision.
Finally, a look at the weather forecast: a cold front is moving to the south-east of the Czech Republic, and tonight will be cloudy with a possibility of showers. Night-time temperatures will drop to lows of 3 to -1 degrees Celsius.